What is your Flow State?
Flow cannot be sustained through an entire eight-hour workday; rather, under the best of circumstances, flow visits you for a few minutes on several occasions – Martin Seligman
We should learn what puts us in a flow state, because that will help us take steps to get more of it in our day or week.
- What are my flow-producing activities
- What are the activities that cause me to lose track of time
- What activities energize me
- What activities make my heart want to burst
- What activities make me feel that the glass is half full!
- What exactly am I doing when things are going well – and I am happy and content
Here’s a methodical way to find your Flow activities:
Randomly pick several times of day for the next 14 days (we want to include weekends and evenings). Don’t make them the same times every day. These will be the times that you check in on your feeling levels.
Add check-in reminders in your calendar (for example, cell phone).
At each designated check-in, do the following:
- Write down the time of day.
- Write down where you are.
- Write down what you’re doing.
- Write down who you’re with.
You will have something like: “It’s 11 am on Thursday and I’m at the computer responding to an email.” Or, “It’s 2:15 pm on Saturday and biking.” Something like that.
At these designated times, ask yourself the following questions and write down the responses:
- How am I feeling right now
- Do I feel I’m doing my own thing or going through the motions for someone else’s agenda
- Is there something else I’d rather be doing
- On a scale of 1-10 rate how happy you feel at this moment.
At the end of the 2 weeks, read through your notes and look for themes and connections between what you were experiencing and feeling at those times. Look for the links between feeling happy and what you’re doing.
If you take the time and effort to follow these steps, you will be able to see how specific people, places and / or projects are contributing to your feeling happy or unhappy. Then, once you have an idea of your own Flow activities, keep bringing this mindfulness to all your experiences every day – and looks for ways to align yourself with more of these activities!
You will be able to increase your flow experiences once you see these connections.