In Flow

Maximizing Productivity Through Improved Focus

Have you noticed how easily children can become absorbed in what they’re doing? They get so caught up in an activity that the rest of the world might as well not exist!

This ability to focus totally on one thing comes naturally to young children in particular. For the rest of us, however, it can be something of a challenge, and we fail to get the best out of the task at hand.

But some people can focus intently on what they're doing, and perform exceptionally well as a result. Psychologists refer to this state of absolute absorption and engagement as being "in flow."

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who first described the concept, suggests that this state of being able to achieve total focus applies to almost every field of activity. According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow involves "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost." So how do we enter this "ecstatic" state?

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Creating the Right Environment

Flow is easiest to achieve when:...

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