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FLOW STATE: Discover the ultimate secret to productivity

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Is there a secret to the ultimate FOCUS MODE? How do Nobel Prize winners get their best work done? Is there an ultimate secret to productivity? 

Is there an alternative way of working, instead of constantly switching tabs and fighting with endless distractions?

What is flow state?

Although you may not know it by name, you probably experienced a state of deep focus, sometimes referred to as flow state. It’s a term identified by the Hungarian-American psychologist, Mihály Csikszentmihályi. Flow is a mindful, meditative mindset, ideal for productive working. It's a state of complete focus and calm that you experience when doing something you enjoy, without distraction.

According to psychology expert Sharon Aneja, “It’s that complete sense of absorption you have when you’re in the thick of your work, and it’s what leads to optimal performance.” It’s a state somewhere between mindfulness and a meditative space – the ideal, most-productive mental state to be in when trying to accomplish your work.

Csikszentmihályi observed this behavior while studying several highly successful people, many who were Nobel Prize winners. He found that their keen ability to enter this state of deep focus, ‘frequently and deliberately,’ was key to their productivity.[1]

How to get into flow state to increase your personal productivity?

How can you tap into this motivating, creative, and ultra-productive mindset? Although it is possible to create the ideal external conditions for achieving flow state, you will need to reach a certain level of inner harmony as well.  

Here are our tips to get you started: 

Eliminate clutter & remove distractions

One of the main steps to achieving the state of flow is removing as many distractions as possible. This means decluttering your work area and switching all off notifications and device alerts. In Mudita Pure, the ideal setting is DO NOT DISTURB.

Another key factor is to monotask, or focus on just one task at a time. This might feel counter-productive at first, considering our cultural obsession with multi-tasking, however, if you want to achieve the state of flow, you need to start setting aside less important tasks and focusing on the things that matter most. Sometimes, working away from a noisy office, full of distracting coworkers can also help. According to a 2021 PwC survey, 52% of executives noticed that while working remotely, the productivity of their employees increased. [2]

Do more of what drives you 

We all want to work on things we feel passionate about. Confucius once wrote, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Although this may be easier said than done, it is definitely easier to achieve the state of flow if you work on a task that you enjoy. The key is to focus on tasks which are motivating and challenge you, but are not overly stressful. These tasks should be interesting and not monotonous. You should be very picky about what you choose to focus your attention on. You’re more likely to stick to a task and remain in the flow state if you’re working on.

Make it count! 

If you’re like the rest of us, you’re not going to swoon with enthusiasm for every task in your backlog. There will be items on your list, which you will need to tackle at some point, that you’re not so excited about dealing with. However, the trick is to find some meaning in every assignment, even the most boring and monotonous ones.  For example, if one of your least-favorite tasks is to prepare a department budget, instead of dreading it and putting it off, focus on the fact that finishing it will allow your team to get a lot of great projects done. Seeing the meaningful aspects of each assignment will allow you to achieve flow state more easily.

Appreciate the results of your work   

Make sure to acknowledge your accomplishments and recognize whether the task was completed smoothly and effectively. Next time, make an effort to recreate those conditions. This way, you can learn what works well for you and you will be able to notice the difference in the outcome of your work. Perhaps all it will take is one or two meeting-free mornings per week or one full day of deep work per month for you to be able to focus on the most important tasks and responsibilities, instead of putting them off because you just cannot find the time in your schedule to get them done. Since many offices are now working in a hybrid model, there is also the option of finishing some tasks while you are working from home. Changing your approach to tasks can really transform your perspective at work. Instead of mindlessly getting through the day, trying to do as much as you can, find meaning and enjoyment is what you do. It can really be transformative. 

If you are looking to enhance the way your mind works in order to be more productive, effective and happy, you’re in the right place. Please check out similar articles featured on our blog and learn more about how to increase your concentration and boost productivity. 

You might also consider joining our FORUM Community where we discuss ideas and exchange information about all things connected to wellness and digital well-being.

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