"Flow"

We talked last week about motivation, momentum, and resistance, but there's a close cousin that we haven't chatted about and that is lovingly termed as "flow".

When you're in the flow, you lose track of time.  You're totally immersed in whatever it is that you're doing.  Emails roll in and you don't notice.  You forget to check Instagram.  Texts pop up, but they only garner a glance.  You are totally occupied: mind, body, and soul.

This alignment of mind, body, and soul into one purpose is the place to be.

When you're in this state, work "flows" through you effortlessly.  Solutions come so quickly that you don't even have time to register the problems.  The work is easy and rewarding.  Afterwards, you feel refreshed instead of tired and drained.  You get the maximum done on minimum effort.

Because the "flow" state is so productive and feels so good, it's important for us to make a real effort to get there.  

The first thing that you need to do in order to prepare to enter the "flow" state is clear your mind and body of negative thoughts and emotions.  Negativity is largely unproductive and keeping it around will almost certainly keep you out of flow state.  Take some time to meditate or write your thoughts in a stream-of-consciousness fashion.  When you feel light, you're in a good starting place.

The second is to be sure that you'll have nothing to worry about.  

If you have a time commitment, set an alarm.  If you have to make dinner, put it in the crock pot.  Take care of all the little things that will tug at your mind.  Spending a half an hour taking care of these things will free up even more brain space and give you peace in knowing that it's already taken care of.

Eliminate distractions.  Turn off email notifications and put your phone on "Do not disturb".  Keeping these distractions at bay while you're trying to get into the flow will ensure that they don't impede your progress.

Set up your environment just how you want it.  

If you like to play a certain music or you like your studio set up in a specific way, make sure that it is just how you like it.  Don't allow yourself to think that it will be "just fine", if you don't like it because it's not fine.  You deserve to have it just as you want.  Make it so, and you'll find it easier to get into the flow.

Then, get to work.

Overcome Resistance, engage in your momentum, and start working.  As you do, push out any unhelpful, unproductive, or uninteresting thoughts out of your mind.  To be in the flow, you need to be fully engaged in your work.  Let nothing come between you and your work.  This does not mean that you can't go off on a tangent.  If you go to work expecting to do A, but end up doing H, that's great!  Sometimes the flow takes us to unexpected places and that is another benefit to it.  

Let yourself be carried away by the magic and power of it.

 Do you have other ways that you get in the flow?  I'd love to hear about it!