When was the last time you experienced being so immersed in doing work that diversion is almost impossible? As if nothing else matters more than what you do and time has flown by so fast you haven’t noticed that it’s already past midnight yet you never lost the energy and drive to continue working?
It’s called the “State of Flow”, and sometimes it comes from a sudden surge of motivation. But motivation is tricky, you find it less when you need it the most. Oftentimes the workplace is the worst place to find motivation thus we get stuck doing something else instead of working on the tasks at hand. Although it’s true that we can create environments conducive for work, we must also remember that the “flow” comes from within.
This article is a practical approach to tapping into the energy of flow by means of inner preparation. By the time you finish reading this post you will have learned the different ways that you can do your inner work to easily get into the state of flow.
You Can Recreate Your Focus Habits
Although it’s hard to look for motivation in a world full of obligations and uncertainties, finding your state of flow can be done, if you will it. How nice would it be if you’re able to tap into this state of consciousness every day at work? You don’t need to be a Yogi to be able to find your flow because it can be easily induced.
Spend some time to invest into doing your daily ritual (which we’ll tackle shortly) and stick into a routine for a month. Honoring a routine is only a way to build a habit, you really don’t have to strictly block out certain hours in a day to conform to the routine. The main goal is to build a habit around the routine so that after a month, following the routine will be second nature and inserting commitments or making your schedule flexible will be less of a mental struggle.
Forming a habit isn’t easy but having a routine to build a habit on is a good foundation to make you follow the habit. A routine is attached to time, and the habit, once inserted to your daily timeline, is attached to a trigger.
Let me cite a quick example. Let’s say you want to build a writing habit and come up with an article a day. If you spend breakfast effortlessly, like it’s second nature, you can have breakfast as your “trigger” to do writing later. If you can conform to having breakfast without any mental struggle, having to schedule your writing after breakfast for a month will be easier than just picking a random time of the day.
Writing involves a lot of creative process. If you spend a lot of time having a mental battle on whether you should write or not, you’ll spend a lot of energy that’s supposed to be channeled for the creative process and flow. The routine goes like this:
Mental Preparation => Creative Process => Flow. The more effortless you can get to the creative process, the faster you can get to the state of flow.
Do Your Morning Ritual
Like grease on rusty gears, having a morning ritual is a good way to condition your mind to tap into the state of flow with less friction in the long run.
We often rush to work, doing things almost automatically, losing that light, conscious attitude as we leave the house on our way to the office. Before you start your day, spend at least 10 minutes to treat yourself. Relax, whatever it is that’s waiting for you out there can wait.
Wake up 10 minutes earlier than usual and do something that relaxes you. You can meditate, drink tea, do visualization exercises or simply do nothing. Do this first thing in the morning, the moment you get up from bed. A morning ritual is important in order to condition yourself and be in the state of consciousness before you start doing your usual routine.
Try to Feel Better
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to feel better. Spend a few minutes to an hour per day to do your morning rituals and exercise. A good physique improves your overall performance.
Do the “Power Stance” every day. Spend 5 minutes every day looking at the mirror before you head to work, doing a stance that shows confidence and self-esteem. It doesn’t just make you feel better with yourself, wearing the success attitude gives you the confidence that you can do anything that’s handed to you in a day. I personally go to Youtube and search for motivational movies or video clips every morning just to get inspiration. It’s a simple yet effective motivation booster to keep you going.
Most people will tell you that motivation is temporary and you shouldn’t strive for it. I agree. However, if you make motivation a “practice” rather than just a quick fuel, it will be easier for you to get motivated in the future, especially if motivation exercises have changed your language patterns and gives you a positive outlook when it comes to work.
Know your accomplishments, create a benchmark based on those and again, outdo yourself. Growth is continuous, and there’s no better way to outgrow yourself than to beat your own record. Remember the last time you were assigned a similar task and ended up successful. Go back to that place and give fifty times what you’ve given before.
Love Your Work and You’ll Discover How to Find Your Flow
Some people may find it hard to love their job, but it can be done. If you love your job, you wouldn’t feel like working anymore. Look for something that you’re grateful about in your job. May it be because it helps you grow, you’ve met amazing people at work or because it has helped you grow through the years. Whatever you reason may be, loving your work is the strongest force to find your flow.
These are just few of the things that can help you improve your productivity and teach you on how to find motivation in everything that you do in order to get to the flow. There are many books, movies and workbooks around to help you find your flow, but the most important thing that you should bear in mind is that the flow can be found within.