Have you ever bowled a perfect game? Did you sink all your shots during practice or just couldn’t be sniped in an online game? Maybe you’ve been so productive in the workplace one day that you did more than your share of work and didn’t notice the time passing by.
If you’ve experienced anything like that you probably referred to the occasion as being in the zone. This feeling of being oblivious to everything else that doesn’t have anything to do with your task at hand is also known as a flow state. Csíkszentmihályi Mihály, a Hungarian psychologist, coined the phrase and also linked it to pure happiness.
Regardless of what your reasons are, you’ve probably never stopped chasing that feeling. It feels good to be so efficient that nothing can faze you. Luckily, there are some things you can do to recreate it as it’s not by any means a random occurrence.
Eliminating Potential Sources of Interference
Just because you want to get in the zone it doesn’t mean it happens instantly. However, wanting to reach that beautiful flow state is the first step. You continue by eliminating distractions such as a phone, reminders, shutting off your TV and radio, etc.
If you’re an avid smoker or you like your coffee while you work, make sure you have something to keep your mind of the coffee or cigarettes before you get started. Once you reach the state your body will no longer have the urge.
The time and place also impact if and how long it takes to get in the zone. The middle of the day can be distracting as there’s a lot of buzzing around you especially if you work in a crowded office. Try clearing your head during the early hours of the day or late at night if you’re more of a night owl.
Now that you’re no longer distracted by exterior triggers, it’s time to focus on yourself. If you’re edgy or anxious it can be hard to reach a flow state. You should try to pace yourself and remind yourself that once you’re in the zone nothing can get in the way of you finishing your task.
You should also have your priorities clearly defined so that you know what comes first. Achieving a flow state will do you no good if you have unfinished business. If you use a to-do list or keep a clear schedule of your tasks it will be easy to avoid such situations. Something as simple as the BubblesPlanner app can help you keep a precise record of your priorities. This way you encounter no surprises while you’re trying to gain maximum concentration.