Five Great Ways to Create More Flow in Your Life

Do you find yourself easily distracted and unable to concentrate? By creating flow you can make your life more enjoyable.

What is flow?

Flow is a state of mind in which a person is fully immersed in a task so that they lose track of time. Flow can be achieved by doing an activity that is mentally, physically or spiritually challenging, and creates enjoyment. Flow can happen when doing anything where you are actively engaged such as playing a musical instrument, playing sport, doing specific tasks at work and reading.

1) Choose your task wisely

Choose a task:

  • That you enjoy – if you are dreading the task you are unlikely to achieve flow
  • That is important – find a task that will have a positive impact on your life and career
  • That is challenging – it needs to be challenging enough to require your full concentration but not too hard that you spend your time working out how to do it or are discouraged

However, there are many boring tasks that you may have to do. If you add a challenge to your task it can aid your concentration levels and you will be more likely to achieve flow. This can be done by adding constraints to your task. For example:

  • Adding a time limit
  • Each time you do the task do it a different way (e.g. cut the grass in a different pattern each time)

2) Find the right time

To achieve flow you need to have few distractions.

  • Find a quiet time of day. At home, this may be when the children are at school, at work in the morning or when everybody is at lunch.
  • Choose a time when you have energy and can concentrate. Concentration is the key to flow.
  • Make sure there are no distractions. This could include music (although for some people this helps them focus), e-mails, telephone, and loud conversations.
  • A cluttered desk can also be a distraction, reminding you of other work to be done.

3) Keep your focus

Make sure to focus on the task you have chosen for as long as possible. If you can keep focused on that task, it means that you have chosen well and you can achieve flow.

4) Meditate

Meditation can be a great way to access a state of flow. Try sitting quietly for 5 or 10 minutes a day. Do not stop your thoughts but observe them as they pass through your mind. It is an activity that helps you to disconnect from everything around you so can help you to find flow in your every day life.

5) Cut out television

Research has proven that television rarely creates flow and that levels of enjoyment are lower in those who watch a lot of TV. The reason may be that there is less brain activity when watching television than when sleeping. So, try to watch less TV and do more leisure activities that stimulate the brain such as reading or a sport.

And remember, you may not achieve flow on your first try, but keep practicing and you are sure to achieve flow.

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These suggestions have a track record of working for people in this situation. We recommend that you try these tips and see which ones are suitable for you. You may find that other approaches work for you too. Depending on your circumstances, a consultation with your GP may be advised.

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