Two Powerful and Fundamental Actions Pt.2: Going with the Flow
So we’ve talked about the search for a why, and now for the second action we have forgotten: the capacity to go with the flow.
The capacity to go with the flow
After searching for a why, the second action which can change the results of our habits is the upheaval of our daily routine.
If your working day is defined by repeated activites, it would be interesting to add little elements of newness that stimulate you and are perhaps already part of your non-work daily routine.
If it could be done, how interesting would it be to be able to ‘bring to work’ small activities of meditation, writing, or even design?
How strange would it be to create little challenges between colleagues, like a memory or observation game not to be taken too seriously?
By introducing this strangeness, we may also find ourselves enjoying the relaxation, empathy or learning provided by these simple actions. And we could also find ourselves in the so-called flow.
This condition is defined by psychologist Mihali Chicksentmihalyi as that in which ‘time flies.’ When we are immersed in doing something which makes us happen, we lose track of the minutes and hours passing. Our engagement is determined by the relationship between our skills in the game and the complexity of the activity on which we are concentrating.
These moment of flow allow ideas and intuitions to flow freely, granting us intense satisfaction in what we are doing. Many artists, who make their works with a high level of creativity, talk about this state as though it happens ‘outside of their own will.’
5 useful steps
There are five useful steps for creating conditions in which we can go with the flow. They aren’t rules to be followed to the letter, simply guidance based on past experience.
Set clear goals
While you are experimenting, try to keep in mind what you want.
Tip: first defining a precise target and a plan to reach it will increase your motivation
Ask for immediate feedback
When in the flow, it feels like things are going well (or not), creating a desire to continue (or change what is wrong).
Tip: identifying the parameters for measuring performance will help you form a more balanced judgement
In the long-run, there is no enjoyment without a challenge. We reach maximum concentration and motivation when we are engaged in what we are doing, finding a balance between the difficulty and the skills we have to face it.
Tip: note down the positive emotions you experienced while doing an activity.
Let go of the outside world
When we are in the flow and completely concentrated on the activity at hand, the outside world ceases to exist. Instead, there is only the famous “here and now,” where time seems to stop for us.
Tip: don’t worry about what is happening after, concentrate on what you’re doing now.
Look for enjoyment
In the flow, the activity is enjoyment in itself as it is extremely gratifying. Roles, recognition, and expectations suddenly lose their importance.
Tip: try to find a personal enjoyment, not necessarily a pre-defined pleasure.
So there we have it: the two ideas which can acutely change your sense of presence and value of your tasks, within your working context.
The fundamental search for a why (on a personal and business level) and the search for a flow in time which flies while we work can prove themselves to be actions capable of generating positive and surprising changes.
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