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How to Achieve Flow

May 22, 2020

Trying to achieve flow is not as simple as it would seem. Certain characteristics must match and line up in order to find you in this space. We can try to get into the flow state but the act of trying will be something that prevents us from getting there in the first place.

        Some of the components of flow according to Mihaly Csikszentmihályi, the founder of the concept are,

  • Intense and focused concentration on the present moment
  • Merging of action and awareness
  • A loss of reflective self-consciousness
  • A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
  • A distortion of temporal experience, one’s subjective experience of time is altered
  • Experience of activity as intrinsically rewarding
  • Immediate feedback
  • Feeling the potential to succeed
  • Feeling so engrossed in the experience, that other needs become negligible

Just as with the conditions listed above, these conditions can be independent of one another.  For the most part we can decide what to focus our attention on, however when we are in a state of flow we become completely engrossed with one task at hand, lose awareness of all other things like time, people, and distractions. According to Csikszentmihályi, this occurs because all of the attention of the person in the flow state is on the task at hand; there is no more attention to be allocated.

In this article 9 Steps to achieving flow they outline a sample of methods to focus on to achieve this flow state. Much like anything worth having it requires some practice and skill to over come the initial challenges. However when you have met the task with adequate skill and sufficient challenge you should be well on your way.