What flow is, and why it’s worth pursuing with every bone in your body

Posted by in Productivity

When I was a but a wee lad, me and my best friend would often lose ourselves for hours on end in an activity. Playing soccer. Climbing trees. Fishing. Simple pleasures in simpler times, with nary a distraction in sight.

We’d keep going until suddenly realizing that the sun was setting, and then I would rocket home for my evening meal – exhausted in the best way possible, and looking forward to repeating the experience the next day.

Adult life, meanwhile, is different. There are obligations to keep, mortgages to pay, children to mind and work to be done, amidst all of which we lose touch with our ability to focus on something to the exclusion of all else.

Often referred to as a state of flow, this ability to lose ourselves in what we are doing is a crucial indicator of our well-being, because being able to enter it at all means we are doing something we enjoy so much that everything else fades away.

The virtuous cycle of flow and productivity

A state of flow is, at its core, fuelled by two things: motivation, and focus. The greater your motivation and your ability to focus the thrust it generates, the better your flow. It’s a relationship not unlike that between gasoline and a steering wheel.

The relationship between flow and productivity is equally simple. Combining motivation with focus leads to an increase in productivity, which in turn increases motivation and improves your focus – furthering your state of flow with each turn of the wheel.

Pursuing a state of flow has its obvious benefits; from the moment you dive in, you’ll be working smarter, living better and unleashing more of your awesome.

And yet there’s a simpler question begging to be asked: how would you like to spend more time doing something you enjoy so much, that everything else fades away?

I think you already know the answer.