FYI | Day 7 – Flow

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For Your Inspiration! (FYI!) Month 2011 – This article was part of an exciting and challenging month dedicated to discovering passions, setting goals, learning success strategies, and sharing thoughts to ponder throughout the day!  If you’d like to find out what this month was all about, check out FYI Month 2011 for more information!

FYI: For-Your-Inspiration Month!

Experiencing Flow

When you throw multi-tasking to the wind and practice single-tasking, have you ever experienced full mental immersion into a task where you lose all track of time?  Somebody knocks on your door and wakes you out of this state and you are amazed to notice it’s been four hours since you last took a break!  When we are in this state of mind, we are in our ideal state for learning, problem-solving, productivity, and can utilize our knowledge and skills to the best of our ability!  This is called flow.

What is flow?  ‘Flow’ is psycho-babble for the mental state of operation in which a person is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focused, full involvement, and succeeding in the process of the activity.  Flow typically occurs when we are doing something that we are good at, interests us, and that challenges us.  

When computer programmers get into a flow state, they sometimes refer to it as ‘hack mode’.  Stock market operators often use the term ‘in the pipe’, poker players use ‘playing the A-game’ and perhaps you refer to it as being in ‘The Zone’?  All of these are referencing the flow state.

To get into the zone, you have be in an environment that welcomes it; a quiet place with no distractions… so turn off those electronics that alert you of everything!  One can’t force oneself to enter flow or even know when one is going to enter flow.  It just happens.  It will most likely occur when one is wholeheartedly performing a task for intrinsic purposes and in the right environment for it.

In this state, your creativity explodes, your productivity sores, and your enjoyment in the task is palpable!

Your Task

Think of the last time you were in a flow state.  What were you doing?  How did you feel before and after?  What were the results?

Can you enter this state easily?  You may be among the few that can.  Effective multi-tasking is a myth and only promotes attention deficit problems.  I suggest practicing the art of single-tasking!

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Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at) studentofme.com!

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