Get Into Flow to Boost Happiness at Work
If you have ever experienced being in the â€œthe zoneâ€, when everything is clicking and time seems to disappear, you have likely been in â€˜flowâ€™. Flow is that almost-magical-state-of-mind during which you become completely absorbed in a task or activity that is challenging, but possible.
When you are in flow you make less mistakes, you are more creative and you are more productive.
Multi-task Less to Get Into Flow More
You achieve flow by focusing completely. That means no distractions or multitasking. Everything that demands your active attention is pinging your prefrontal cortex, and your brain pays a price for rapidly switching attention and trying to hold onto information. The science is clear: you cannot pay attention to two things at once and do your best at both.
Multitasking makes attaining flow impossible. To experience the downsides of multitasking, watch and participate in this 3-minute video clip demonstrating the impact of multitasking on the brain.
Apply Flow-Boosting Strategies at Work
- Remove Roadblocks â€“ Find the bottlenecks and roadblocks and then assist in discovering ideas, resources or tools that can remove these roadblocks. Progress towards meaningful goals is a key source of engagement and happiness at work. By removing roadblocks, you are able to get into flow and make meaningful progress.
- Manage Distractions â€“ Focus leads to flow, which leads to happiness, which leads to productivity. Focusing undistracted on a task is made easier by applying the following strategies:
- Monitor your Monitors â€“ Place your computer monitor so that you wonâ€™t see distractions such as motion and other people
- Turn Off Email Alerts â€“ If your email program notifies you whenever a message arrives, turn it off. Turning off these notifications lets you focus.
- Listen to Nature Sounds â€“ To focus on solo work in a noisy environment, play an internet video or other recording of nature sounds.
- Let Others Know You are in Flow â€“ When you are focusing to get into flow on a project or task, use a visual indicator like putting up a sign or putting in headphones. Stay tuned for Flow Flags, Happy Brain Scienceâ€™s first productivity product! You can put up a Flow Flag to let your colleagues know you are focusing to get into flow.
Focus to Get into Flow
We are energized by and appreciate your comments, feedback, questions and insights! Have you focused to get into flow at work? Have you or will you use any of the strategies listed above? Let us know by using #HappyFlowWork or simply reply to this email, leave a comment on our Facebook page, or tweet to @ScottCrab.
To Getting In â€˜The Zoneâ€™,
Scott Crabtree and the Happy Brain Science Team