Two fundamental and powerful actions: enter the flow


After talking about the search for why here is the second action we have forgotten: the ability to enter the flow.

The ability to enter the flow

After the search for why, the second action that can change the results of our habits is to break the daily routine.

In the event that our working day is marked by programmed and repeated activities, it would be curious to insert small news, which stimulate us and which may already be part of our extra-working habits.
If there were the real opportunity, how interesting would it be to ‘bring to work’ small activities of meditation or writing or even drawing?

How strange would it be to create the conditions for small moments of challenge among colleagues, such as a memory or observation games that do not require too much embarrassment?

By implementing the strangeness of these simple actions, we might even find ourselves enjoying pleasure in terms of relaxation or empathy or learning. And we could even end up finding ourselves in the so-called flow.


When time flies

This condition was defined by the psychologist Mihali Chicksentmihalyi as that ‘in which time flies’. When we are immersed in doing something that makes us feel good, we literally lose the perception of spending minutes and hours. Our involvement is determined by the relationship between the competences at stake and the complexity of the activities to which we dedicate ourselves.

The moments of flow are those in which ideas and intuitions flow easily, giving an intense satisfaction for what you are doing. Many artists, who work at high creative rates, speak of it as if it happened even ‘outside their will’.

Five very useful steps

To create the conditions that allow us to enter the flow, there are five very useful steps. They are not rules to be followed strictly, but the advice is the result of previous experience.

  1. Set clear goals
    As we experience an activity, we try to have what we want in mind.
    Tip: define a precise objective and a plan to achieve it immediately, increasing our motivation.
  2. Ask for immediate feedback
    In the flow we experience that strange feeling that things are going nicely (or not) and we feel the urge to continue (or change).
    Advice: indicate parameters that measure our performance, which will help us to make a more balanced judgment.
  3. challenge
    In the long run there is no taste, if we do not even fix a stick. We reach maximum concentration and motivation when we are involved in what we are doing, in a balance between the difficulty to overcome and our abilities.
    Tip: write on a sheet the positive emotions we have experienced in doing those activities.
  4. Break away from the outside
    When we are in the flow, the external world does not exist, because we are focused on that specific activity. There is only the now famous “here and now”, where time seems to stop especially for us.
    Tip: do not worry about the later, but take care of what we’re doing.
  5. Search for pleasure
    What we are doing during the flow is a pleasure in itself. It becomes rewarding for ourselves and that’s exactly what matters at the time. Roles, recognition and expectations suddenly lose importance.
    Tip: try to find a kind of personal pleasure, not necessarily predefined.

Here are two themes that can significantly change the meaning of our presence and the value of our commitment, within the working environment in which we operate.

The fundamental search for a reason (on a personal and above all corporate level) and the search for a flow in time that we spend at work (initially for ourselves), can reveal actions capable of generating positive and surprising changes.