This is the first post in months. I’m working on a bigger essay right now, but I’ve missed publishing on this space. This is a short post is about how to trigger Flow state, and is a summary of this article by Jari Roomer. This is especially relevant now, when people are working and learning in enviroments not initially created for productivity.
Flow is a state of complete immersion in whatever activity someone is doing; often signalled by losing complete track of time. You know when it happens, but it can be triggered. This article provides ten ways that contribute to flow state.
- Eliminate all external distractions: put your phone away, turn off notifications.
- Eliminate internal distractions. This is tougher but meditation and journalling help to clear the mind. Most imporantly, don’t try to enter flow state when stressed.
- Work at your Biological Peak Time (BPT). Don’t fight it if you naturally get fatigued at a certain time of day.
- Listen to the right kind of music. Repetitive, non-vocal music, that stretches for an extended period of time.
- Work on one very specific task. Entering flow state with a list of things to do won’t work. Pick a task.
- The task must be challenging enough, but not TOO challenging. If it’s too difficult, it will create stress and will be difficult to reach flow (see #2)
- Have a clear outcome or goal. When you don’t know what you’re working towards, you don’t know when to finish, and procrastination loves it when this lack of clarity exists - it will push you towards quitting earlier.
- Strategically consume caffeine. 200mg per day max (each cup is about 96mg). 400mg creates anxiety.
- Stay hydrated. Not surprising but lack of hydration leads to a distracted state of mind.
- Create a mental cue. A special sentence, action that you repeat every time you want to enter flow state.