Since 1975, many experts have examined the flow psychology. An observational study found that flow state increases cognitive control without overloading your memory. It’s a training exercise for your brain.
Another research showed how it could affect pianists. As they play, flow affects their blood pressure, heart rate, and overall performance. It also enabled musicians to synchronize flawlessly with each other, leading to a group flow state.
The best thing is, you can recreate this experience daily.
How? Well, there are many flow state triggers you can use, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Here are the top curated methods you can try to get into the flow.
How to Induce Flow State in 7 Ways
Do Something You Love
This word of advice might sound a bit cliche, but it’s true. When you do something you’re interested in, your motivation is through the roof. Time stands still when you’re having fun.
When you’re in the zone, you’re focused on overcoming a specific task. If it’s too simple, you’ll get bored. If it’s too complicated, you’ll end up feeling frustrated.
To balance it out, pick up an activity that you enjoy, which also offers room for growth.
Set Clear, Realistic Goals
Okay, so you know what you want to do. You’re feeling motivated. What’s next?
The next step is to set your goals. More specifically, break it down into smaller, realistic tasks you can do day-by-day. This makes everything more manageable and conducive to focus.
When your to-do list is too long, you’ll risk straining yourself. Your energy will run out and break the flow. Disappointment will also set in once you realize that your goals are impossible to achieve in a day.
To reach a happy, flow state, focus on one activity at a time. Try not to switch between multiple tasks. More importantly, have a clear idea of what you’re going to do today.
Practice Makes Perfect
Getting into the flow might not be easy for everyone. Some people might be easily distracted. Others might not always be in the mood for productivity.
If you’re struggling to focus, how do you achieve a flow state?
To answer that, think about seasoned athletes. Because they’re used to training, they can switch their focus and immerse themselves. You can also achieve that through consistent practice.
Establish a routine and commit to it. It doesn’t have to be perfect from day 1. Try developing one good habit at first, then work your way up gradually.
You can also do journaling and meditation. These two mindful practices can boost your mood and help keep your focus on track.
Give Yourself a Mental Cue
Along with daily habits, there’s a little trick you can do for your brain. Switch into focus mode quicker by creating a mental cue.
The point of a mental cue is to signal your brain to do a specific action. In this case, you’re telling your brain to get into the flow. The more you cue yourself, the easier it takes to focus.
Some people set their intention for the day through yoga. Others go for deep breathing rounds for a calming effect. Small rituals such as making your bed or any other activity also count.
Do the same mental cue every time before you enter a flow state. It might be strange at first, but it can work. A simple signal connects your brain to peak performance.
Get Rid of Distractions
Distraction is the adversary of focus. Why?
It’s because of attention residue. When you try to get back on your task, some of your attention is still on the distraction. It takes at least 25 minutes to get that focus back.
Create a conducive environment by getting rid of distractions.
Silence your phone. Mute social media notifications. Close unnecessary tabs on your screen. When you’re in a quiet working space for at least 10 to 15 minutes, you can achieve a flow state of mind.
Another suggestion is to listen to soothing, ambient music. According to a recent study, music can lessen stress while amplifying your focus and concentration.
Work at your Peak Energy Levels
Quick, answer this one! Early riser or night owl?
Whatever your answer is, that’s your biological prime time, and you should take advantage of it.
Biological prime time is when your energy is at the highest level. It’s also when you can be the most productive.
Shift your schedule around to fit your peak energy levels. In doing this, you’re working to your full potential rather than forcing yourself to work.
It’s also best to take short breaks during the day so you don’t get exhausted quickly.
Lastly, coffee can help. If you drink coffee strategically before entering a flow state, it’ll be an effective energy booster.
Keep the Momentum Going
Fun fact: Writing this article was a challenge. Why? Because I was sleep-deprived, dehydrated, and couldn’t maintain focus.
Don’t make the same mistake. Eat on time and get at least 7 hours of sleep. Following an exercise program also improves your attention since it raises the serotonin levels in your system.
Aside from that, a proper diet is vital. Keep track of your diet’s nutritional value. Remember: it’s about quality more than quantity.
For instance, energy drinks provide a temporary boost. Soon after, your energy level goes down, and you’ll crash and break your flow state. To maintain your focus better, switch to healthy alternatives in your diet and lifestyle.
Learn How to Achieve Flow State, and You’re Set for Life
Flow state is one of the most sought-after phenomena among peak performers. It’s when you feel the happiest and most productive. With flow, you can harness your full potential.
Imagine if you can get into the zone whenever you want to. Instead of being stressed out at work, you’re up to do more. You feel like you can take on anything, and you probably will.
It’s a useful tool for peak performance, and you can activate it anytime. Try the 7 methods above, and see how going with the flow works for you.