What is flow?
The state of flow, also known as "the zone," is a mental state in which a person is completely absorbed in an activity and is able to achieve their fullest potential. When a person is in a state of flow, they are completely focused and engaged in what they are doing. Time seems to slow down or even stop, and they are able to access all of their skills and abilities. This state of complete absorption can lead to exceptional performance.
There are many different activities that can induce the state of flow, but it often occurs when we are engaged in an activity that we enjoy and that challenges us just enough so that we are not bored or overwhelmed. For example, some people experience flow while playing video games, others while painting or writing, and others while working on challenging problems.
What are the benefits of a flow state?
There have been numerous studies on the benefits of flow state, and the results show that it leads to improved performance across a wide range of activities. Some of the benefits include:
• Increased productivity: In a study on software developers, those who were able to reach a Flow State reported being up to 500% more productive than usual.
• Improved problem-solving ability: In a study of students taking an exam, those in a Flow State outperformed those who were not by up to 30%.
• Increased creativity: A study of advertising professionals found that those in a Flow State were up to three times more creative than those who were not.
• Improved focus and concentration: Numerous studies have shown that the state of flow leads to improved focus and concentration. One study found that people in a flow state could maintain their focus for up to six hours at a time.
What are the challenges with working remotely?
While there are many benefits to working remotely, there are also some challenges. One of the biggest challenges is maintaining focus and concentration. It can be difficult to stay on task when you're not in an office environment where there are other people around you holding you accountable. There are also distractions at home, such as family members, pets, or your favorite TV show playing in the background.
Another challenge with working remotely is feeling isolated from your team. When you're not physically present with your colleagues, it can be difficult to build relationships and feel like you're part of a team. This can lead to feelings of loneliness or isolation.
How to achieve a flow state when working remotely
You can do a few things to increase your chances of reaching a flow state when working remotely:
1. Set aside some uninterrupted time:
One of the best ways to reach a flow state is to set aside some uninterrupted time to work on your task. This means turning off all distractions, including your phone, email, and social media notifications. If you have children, this may mean hiring a babysitter or working during their nap time.
2. Find an environment that suits you:
It's important to find an environment that suits your needs in order to reach a flow state. For some people, this means working in complete silence, while others prefer background noise such as music or white noise. Experiment until you find what works best for you and stick with it.
3. Break down your task into smaller goals:
When you're feeling overwhelmed by a task, it can be helpful to break it down into smaller goals so that you don't feel like you're biting off more than you can chew. By accomplishing small goals along the way, you'll feel a sense of progress and momentum which can help push you through to the end goal.
4. Set a deadline:
Having a deadline for your task can help increase your sense of urgency and motivation. This doesn't mean that you have to finish the task in one sitting, but it does mean that you should start working on it sooner rather than later.
5. Get into the right mindset:
One of the most important things you can do to reach a flow state is to get into the right mindset. This means being positive and confident in your ability to complete the task at hand. If you're feeling doubtful or stressed, it will be more difficult to reach a flow state.
A flow state is an optimal mental state where we are able to achieve our fullest potential. While it can be challenging to reach this state when working remotely, there are some things we can do to increase our chances of success, such as setting aside uninterrupted time, finding an environment that suits us, breaking down our tasks into smaller goals, setting a deadline, and getting into the right mindset.