Have you ever been so in the zone, that you focus on your work and suddenly re-emerge hours later like, “What year is it? How did I just manage to bust out 20 pages of writing?”
That’s when you know you’re in a flow state.
It’s a magical place to be in, but sometimes we struggle to get there.
But what if I could give you some handy hints to drop into flow state whenever you need to? Interested? Yes? Keep reading.
Find your values, find your flow
When you’re in that flow state, it’s because you’re doing something you love or are super passionate about.
It’s practically impossible to get into flow state if you hate what you’re doing.
So how do you get into the flow even when it’s the most boring task you can possibly think of?
It’s about understanding your values and what drives your behaviour.
The only difference between doing something you love and doing something you hate is your perception of the task at hand.
A value is something important to us that drives our behaviour. They give us the motivation to act.
We need to be aware of what our values are and use them to find a level of interest in the task at hand.
The higher level of awareness you have about your values, the higher the probability you can use them to drive you into a flow state.
Let me give you an example.
You might run a business, and have to fill out some 100-sheet tax form or something. Not many people enjoy that, right?
But you value your business, you know your purpose and your mission, and you have a rock-solid reason for keeping this business up and running.
So if doing these painful forms is necessary for the business you love, then why does it feel so draining?
Because you also value your time and energy, and at the moment that particular value is winning.
Being conscious of your behaviours and the values driving them is fundamental to motivating yourself.
When you can create a neurological link between the physical task at hand the emotional fulfillment of living your values, you’ll find it a million times easier to get motivated and find your flow.
So if you’re in that position with that 100-sheet form, I want you to write out 50 benefits that link your task at hand to your highest values.
Will it keep the business running? Will it help you build discipline? Will it save time later? Will it save you a whole tonne of energy if you get audited later?
This is how you tap into your peak performance mode and find the motivation to do those otherwise arduous tasks.
Techniques to develop your flow state
Give meditation a go
I know I bang on about the many benefits of meditation…but seriously guys!
The research tells us that after four days of meditation our ability to get into flow states increases by 20 to 30 percent.
Quality and quantity of sleep
It’s also important to get good quality sleep.
Whether you’ve chucked an all-nighter (acute sleep deprivation) or you regularly get less than eight hours of sleep (chronic sleep deprivation), your focus and energy are going to be negatively affected.
Stress management is key
Science shows that being in a state of stress or overwhelm only gets you further away from the flow state.
If you’re juggling a million tasks, have racing thoughts, and your cortisol is sky high, you can pretty much bet you’re not going to be able to tap into that level of clarity and focus.
When you’re like this, I really encourage taking a step back to regulate your emotions, try meditate for a few minutes, and step back into things with a clear head.
So, now you’ve got all the tools you need to drop into flow state. No excuses, get out there and get sh*t done!