You’re familiar with flow, right? The state you find yourself in when you look up at the time to see you’ve somehow lost two hours working on a project. Time has gone by as if in a blink of an eye. Also known as deep-work, flow is the result of taking inspired action in a distraction-free environment. You work almost effortlessly and find yourself able to concentrate for longer periods, your mood and energy buzzing as you happily bound towards your goals.
How to cultivate flow
So how do we cultivate flow regularly, rather than only finding it as if by accident? See, the trick lies in the absence of control. There is no presence of force in your activity. You are letting yourself simply ‘be’. The only way to harness this state of being is by having clarity around what you are trying to achieve, i.e. a clear connection with your goal. This clarity enables you to work from a place of alignment; taking inspired action and not just taking action for the simple need to take action.
A morning ritual for success
Another way to set you up for a day of flow is following a morning ritual. While this may seem like the opposite of letting go of control, trust me when I say, that by controlling your environment, particularly in the morning, you will protect your energy state, which ultimately helps you fall into alignment and create flow throughout your day.
1. Mediate and reconnect with vision:
The first hour of your day is the most vital in setting the overall tone to your day. With remnants of last night’s sleep still in your eyes, begin your meditation practice. Not only will it get you into a great headspace to tackle the day ahead, but it will also bring your vision to the forefront of your mind. In doing so, whatever action you take is in alignment with this vision.
Hint: guided meditations with a visualisation focus are a must; especially for novice meditators. Be sure to check out the work of Dr Joe Dispenza whose guided mediations centre around energy work and vision-setting.
2. Do something just for you, no matter how small, before the workday begins:
Think journaling, reading, going for a run or working out, taking the time to eat your breakfast in the morning sun. No matter how big or small, make sure you create the space to do something that makes you feel good.
3. Start your work day with a clear intention:
It’s essential to not only know what you’re doing but why you’re doing it. Begin each day with no more than three things you wish to accomplish – and accomplish well – each day.
4. Preserve your space:
Distractions are flow killers. A simple and powerful strategy to prevent unnecessary disruptions is to chunk time. which helps to create clear boundaries for work. Need to write a blog post, or plan your social media content for the week ahead? Set aside an hour (and time yourself!), turn off notifications on your device, throw on your favourite Spotify playlist and create. You’ll be surprised just how easily you fall into a natural rhythm with your work.