Psychologists have given the name “flow” to the experience of peak performance, when we are working at our best. They describe flow as a mental state of deep focus and concentration, so immersed in what we are doing that we lose track of time.
Some are able to achieve this state more often than others. But it is not that difficult to achieve if you undertake the proper preparation. Here are a few things to do to get yourself into the flow.
1. Clear your mind.
You need to push from your mind any extraneous thoughts that are not related to the task at hand, what you need to focus on. So, make sure you have consulted your email and to-do lists before you begin your work so that you don’t have any unfinished business on your mind.
The next thing is to orient yourself as to exactly where you are in your project, to be cognizant of what the next thing is that you have to do. It is that anticipation of what you have to do next that helps you get into the flow state, according to psychologists.
2. Get rid of all distractions.
That means anything that will pull you out of your complete attention that is focused on your work. If you cannot focus, you cannot get into the flow. That means you should take care of all the mundane things that could pull you out of your concentration on your work. Go to the bathroom first. Clear up your desk. Turn off your phone. Grab a cup of coffee Sand a snack.
Open any documents on your computer that you will need, and close any windows that you don’t need. Take a few minutes to think of anything else you need take care of before you begin work, so it won’t interrupt you later.
3. Prepare your mind.
You can help to get your mind ready for the flow state by eating a snack, which increases blood sugar and provides fuel for concentration. Drink some water, because even a little dehydration can affect concentration. Music also helps the mind to focus.
Many top performers have a little ritual they go through before settling into work, which helps them get focused. Developing such a personal ritual could help you as well.
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