Flow is like crystal meth for creative people…
…And by creative people, I’m referring to people who are addicted to getting lost in their work; people who have to do something meaningfully; people who are unable to function without regularly being in an inspired state.
It is called “flow” because it feels like you are being utterly carried away, like a rushing river or getting swept away like a stream of silky hot chocolate at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Connection To Your Source
When you are in flow, you are connected to your source, the most natural state of you. You know you are in flow when time slows down for you, but speeds up for the outside world. When you are in flow, you get more done in less time. Benjamin Hardy is an author I recently discovered who brilliantly speaks about this time/productivity phenomenon in his FREE e-book, Slipstream Time Hacking (a must read by the way).
So, if we intend to inspire others, we must first be able to find our flow, and as Mr. “Oh! Shiny Object” myself, I can attest to how much effort it takes to remain in that inspired state in this modern world.
The number one most detrimental enemy to flow is distraction
A phone buzzes,
A roommate wakes up,
A team member knocks on the office door.
Distraction pulls you out of the high. There are numerous studies that show getting back into that state of flow requires a minimum of 15 minutes of earth time.
Here is my 3-step guide to obtaining flow:
- Select what type of project you intend to get lost in.
- Carve out isolated time to devote to your project where it will be nearly impossible for you to become distracted.
- Dive in.
Notice that for #1 I didn’t say be clear on what you are going to produce. If I was clear on what I was going to write about I would have never written this particular blog. In fact, this was supposed to be a blog about managing the people you work with, but because I allowed myself to just start writing, the blog took a new path, and I’m very happy with it.
You can set a timer if you would like. I generally use the Pomodoro Technique, working in 25-minute increments. During that time I often hang a sign on the door of my creative space that says, “Working out of the coffee shop,” so my team knows I’m here for emergencies, but that I’m in my zone, so don’t kill my flow.
Since that feeling of being swept away is so addictive, we want it, and we want it now. Unfortunately flow is hard to come by these days because there are so many obstacles in our way of achieving it. To stay in that high, you need to make a conscious effort; you have to seek it out. Your best drug-dealer of flow is discipline.
Flow is an addiction I wish on everyone. It is a state of being that I desire for everyone in the world. I wonder how we can teach flow to children in elementary, middle, and high school.
For now, let’s start with you.
Want to get lost? Let’s go!
Flowing for the Legacy of You,
POST BLOG WORKSHOP
1) What’s a project you can easily start?
2) Set a time aside for your project.
3) Find your flow and then spread your legacy by letting me know what you planned in the comments section below!
PS – I LOVE WHEN YOU LEAVE COMMENTS AND I RESPOND TO EVERY-SINGLE ONE!
BONUS: An easy to digest article about Flow – by Kendra Cherry