The flow state is a mental state characterized by a sense of complete immersion and concentration on an activity, making the process satisfying and enjoyable. You may have noticed something like this feeling when time flies and you and your team are totally “in the zone” during work. However, flow theory suggests that flow isn’t just a spontaneous thing that happens: can actively create the perfect environment for achieving the flow state. Which is great news for time management, project management, team spirit, and just about everything you want to achieve in life.
What is the flow experience?
Flow was a name coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in 1975 after he observed artists who were able to become so lost in their work that they were ignoring, or simply unaffected by, the need for food, drink or sleep. In a recent TED talk, Csikszentmihalyi went so far as to suggest that flow offers an “optimal experience” of whatever the task is at hand, leading to higher levels of satisfaction. It's considered a part of positive psychology, as an incredibly beneficial state of mind that positively impacts a human being’s entire state of being.
Schedule and protect time for deep work. As a team, confirm 90 minutes, 2x per week where work is completely interruption free.
This deep work is necessary to achieve flow state, so make sure to synch it to both your personal and shared calendars.
Once we agree on a time, lock it in your calendar for the next 30 days.Remember, part of the Playbook is making flow state a habit, so the need to "practice" is necessary.
Remember, a grind is not flow.
Don’t mistake long hours working at the same task as being the same as flow. Flow is when you don’t even notice the time passing, when you are motivated by the task itself and the work you are putting in, when you push on because you are so blissfully engaged with what you’re doing.
Conversely, sitting at a desk for hours and hours to get a task done is just grinding your way through something due to necessity. If your mind is on anything other than the task in front of you, or you don’t feel that what you’re doing is nourishing or positive, you likely aren’t experiencing flow. The good news is that flow itself isn’t a skill you learn—it’s an experience that naturally occurs and a mindset that you can help cultivate.
If something isn’t working for you to achieve flow, reconsider your task, approach or environment and try again.
Not sure if this is the right Playbook for your team? With LEON, our algorithm recommends exactly the right Playbook, at the right time, to the right team, to be more effective and drive well-being and performance.
These Playbooks range from adjusting workload and schedules, to exercises for improving team grit and alignment, and everything in between.
No matter how your team is scoring, we’ll provide data-driven recommendations to support their most pressing needs.