If you’ve ever been so focused on one thing that the rest of the world melted away, it might have been a mental state psychologists call flow state. This self-induced feeling can make tasks feel more enjoyable and help people stay involved in what they’re doing.
What is Flow?
Flow is a concept that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi first introduced to describe his studies on happiness and how people find happiness. But it has evolved into being much more than that. It’s not just about joy anymore – it’s about getting lost in what you are doing and not feeling like time passed until you find yourself finishing your work or task.
How to turn Flow state into Deep Focus sessions
Preparation is the key to deep focus. In order to accomplish it, you must know exactly what needs to be done. You will also want to create a timeline to break down your tasks and work in blocks of time.
Focusing on precise tasks, so you don’t have to interrupt to think about what needs to be done is essential, so you can always keep in mind the goal and don’t get distracted.
Having a precise goal allows us to stay focused and gives us motivation. Dividing motion from action from my experience is also crucial, separating deep sessions where you want to divide those where you execute versus those where you want to reason and plan.
In order to work in deep focus mode, it is necessary to eliminate all possible distractions and obstacles. Many people have a hard time concentrating because they are constantly bombarded with interruptions and messages from their environment.
Especially if you’re working on a task that requires a lot of thought or deliberation, it’s essential to remove any potential distractions.
How to Create a Flow-Inducing Environment for Yourself?
A flow-enhancing environment provides everything you need to stay focused on your work and get through it promptly. This could include an ergonomic desk, office chair, music playlist, or an ambient scent diffuser.
The environment you work in can make or break your productivity. The goal is to find a place, physical and/or mental, that will induce a flow state to help you be productive.
One way to create an environment that induces flow is to use the Pomodoro technique, which includes working in 25-minute intervals followed by a five-minute break. This kind-of methods have been proven to increase efficiency and creativity.
Another way to induce flow is through triggers, such as music, lighting, and colors on the walls. Using these techniques can change your mood and help with creativity and productivity.
Start with a simple routine.
Begin by creating your own routine. I personally start every time with a 1 minute controlled breathing session, and when I feel ready, I put on my playlist and listen to the same music. This leads the brain to associate that situation with focus, and it becomes easier and easier to concentrate.
It is better if you start slowly. At the beginning of your deep-focus approach to work, one hour a day is enough.
You can increase to 2-3 hours, whereas I think 4 hours are the maximum limit during the day of ‘deep focus’ beyond which may not bring the same benefits, but this is purely a personal matter.
You have to choose the routine that best fits you and, over time, see your goals accomplished.