Clear Your Head
Clear your head for a while by immersing yourself in some challenging and gratifying activity. Whatever it takes to get you out of your daily distracted state and into a state of FLOW.
The flow state is a profound concept introduced to us by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1970s. It is a mental state characterized by complete immersion, engagement, and enjoyment in an activity with a feeling of energized focus. It's complete absorption in what one does.
Csikszentmihalyi outlined 3 components that indicate a state of flow:
- One must be involved in an activity with a clear set of goals and progress. This adds direction and structure to the task.
- The task at hand must have clear and immediate feedback. This helps the person negotiate any changing demands and allows them to adjust their performance to maintain the flow state.
- One must have a good balance between the perceived challenges of the task at hand and their own perceived skills. One must have confidence in one's ability to complete the task at hand.
When all 3 criteria are met, then one is said to have achieved a state of flow.
The chart below illustrates the skill level and challenge level required to achieve a state of flow. This essentially says that in order to get into a state of flow, one’s perceived skill level for the task has to be high and the perceived challenge of the activity also has to be high. So, find something very challenging to do - if you don't already have. It should also require a lot of your skill to do. This most certainly will get you flowing.