FULL Research /Blogs on Flow Jaquina

 

Powerpoints and checklists: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1UZQi4E8-_5AgYpf8wPToH-T0NEjSSO02

PLR Content Purchased: Achieve & Maintain Peak Productivity By Getting In The Flow

Blog 1 Topic: Understanding The FLOW

Total Word Count: 934

Blog 2 Topic: Transforming Into The FLOW

Total Word Count: 1847

Blog 3 Topic: Performing In The FLOW

Total Word Count: 1280

Blog 4 Topic: Releasing The FLOW

Total Word Count: 1210

 

Tags, correlations, and alignments to FLL and VLN:

  • Mindfulness
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
  • Self-Awareness
  • Positive Psychology
  • Self-Regulation

Bio Story to incorporate:      

Potential repurposing strategies:

  • MLK Experience
  • Glass Ceiling Experience
  • LGBTQ+ Experience
  • Leadership – Unlocking Potential
  • Fearless Listening Leadership
  • Team Development
  • Change Management

 

Blog 1 – Understanding “Flow”

Have you ever noticed that some days seem to just fly by, and others take forever to settle down? You’ve probably heard someone say, “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun.” It can even be true for work! That’s because when you’re having fun, your mind has formed a unique connection with your body, unlike the connections it makes when you’re challenged or pushed to perform. It’s probably easiest to understand when you think of a little kid’s birthday party.  The atmosphere is filled with laughter, emotion, energy, smiles, a heightened competitive spirit, and, most of all – a sense of carefree activity that never seems to settle down. The kids are in a flowa mental state of high energy and focus that helps you get ultra-productive while having fun. 

So why is this important to an adult who yearns to have those same heightened experiences day-to-day as they spend time in their work or home environment? It’s simple… work becomes effortless. You may get into the “flow” while you’re working on projects around the house or sitting down on the weekend to work on the next great American novel. No matter what you’re working on, “flow” can make you feel amazing… like you have a super power all of a sudden. 

The flip side is when you get into a funk at work. It’s the opposite of flow. You feel like you’re wading through molasses, trying to get projects done on time. Work feels forced and time comes to a crawl. Your workday seems to last forever and you can’t wait to get out of there. Needless to say, that no matter how hard you try, not a lot of work gets done on those days, and the quality is often inferior to what you usually produce. And no wonder you’re feeling uninspired and unmotivated. 

Of course, there are plenty of other days in-between these two extremes, but given a choice, wouldn’t you want to work and live in the “flow state” as much as possible?  Wouldn’t it be great if we could get into the flow on demand? Since it’s a state of mind, we can. But it takes a little effort and practice. Start by analyzing what flow feels like to you. Can you pinpoint what brings it on? 

Understanding your flow is essential to ultimately Transforming Into the Flow, Performing In the Flow, and finally in Releasing the Flow. After all, the party has to end at some point, right?

Now that you know that there is a state of mind in which you can operate to maximize your productivity, to feel better internally, and to take command of your potential, then the next big step is to learn how to transform. Imagine Diana Prince before she transforms into her fictional superhero character, Wonder Woman. Or Clark Kent, before unveiling the Superman inside. What’s so intriguing about them? It’s not just the fact that we know the potential of what is about to occur.  We also get to see them transcend into a mindset and state of being that has a deeper purpose, enabling them to perform feats that would ordinarily seem less accomplishable.

Individuals and teams in organizations have the opportunity to tap into something deeper than the day-to-day surface performance that many of us see.  They have access to meditation, self-awareness, mindfulness, self-regulation, positive psychology, and flow.  By equipping leaders with the resources and strategies to operate in a flow that generates a peak performance, we realize the benefits in the workplace. Understanding the fruitful rewards of team members who work effectively in their flow is pertinent to organizational development and success.

Before you move into the transformation of your mindset, let’s learn a little more about flow.

Flow has four primary attributes:

  1. It’s a state of mind – you get to control it. It affects and is affected by your thinking, your feelings, and your surroundings when you get into the flow naturally. Sometimes flow is a happy accident. We wake up and are ready to tackle whatever the world throws at us. Other times, flow is born out of necessity, usually in the form of a hard, unnegotiable deadline. When we know it has to get done by 5 pm tonight; the work suddenly starts to flow. 
  2. It’s represented by high energy levels – You’ll be able to focus and make progress on whatever project you’re working on for a long time – until you’re either disrupted or exhausted. 
  3. It results in high focus- Tasks that usually take you hours, get done in half an hour. Email, social media, the phone, Netflix, or the pile of dishes in the sink suddenly aren’t the big distractions they usually present. It’s when we allow ourselves to be wholly focused on one goal, and we’re highly motivated to get things done. 
  4. It’s Fun! – When you’re in the flow, it’s exhilarating, and time flies as we’ve already established. Something we’re finding boring or annoying suddenly becomes fun and easy to do. Being focused and getting a ton done in a short amount of time makes you feel incredibly accomplished and proud. Endorphins start to kick in, and you do feel a bit like a super hero. 

Getting in the flow is such an amazing way to increase your productivity, your quality of work, and how much you enjoy doing the work. Now that you know what flow is and what it feels like, next, we’ll cover how to transform into the flow. Later we’ll learn how to stay in that state of mind for as long as possible. 

Blog 2 – Transforming Into the Flow

Now that you know what flow is and what it feels like let’s get to what it takes to transform your mind. We already established that “flow” is a state of mind, and that means we can technically “think” ourselves into that state. But sadly, it’s not quite as simple as making up your mind that you’ll be hyper- productive and motivated at the drop of a hat. Thankfully though, there are some simple strategies you can deploy to make it easier to get into a flow state. 

Getting into the flow is a bit of a personal thing. It works a little differently for each of us because we are all motivated by different things, and various factors help us get into the flow. As an individual, you can use these tools to identify and move into your flow. Or, as a leader who is seeking to draw the fullest potential from your team members, you can also employ these strategies by providing the support, resources, and tools your team may need to individually or collectively transform into their flow.

Some days getting into the flow with your work assignments and projects is easy. Other days, not so much. You end up sitting at your desk for hours, waiting for inspiration to strike. If only there were a way to move things along and give yourself a chance of getting into the flow. 

Yes, you can “think” your way into a flow state where work and tasks will become easy and almost take care of themselves. But like meditating, it isn’t easy to get into the flow, and it’s something that takes constant practice. You want to be motivated and excited about what you’re working on. 

The good news is there is. There’s a lot you can do to get into the flow, but often the simplest and most effective way is to just start. Make up your mind that you will get the work done. Don’t even worry about getting in the flow or not. The only thing non-negotiable is starting and getting as much done as you can. Give it your best effort. 

When you think about it for a minute, it makes sense that starting, moving in the right direction, helps you get in the flow. The flow is all about momentum, and the only wrong thing you can do is not to do anything at all. 

Here’s The Hard Part 🡪 Work On Your Mindset

 

Getting into the flow is mostly about getting out of your own way and allowing it to happen. The big problem is that you won’t get into the flow when you’re worried about the quality of your work or wondering if you’ve paid the cable bill this month. 

In other words, you can’t let yourself get distracted, and it takes a bit of self-confidence to get into that unique state of mind. Practice and preparation are your best friends. Instead of following the flow of external factors only, learn more about your internal flow and allow yourself to move in that direction. To do that, you have to prepare. Set aside time and try to get into the flow state of mind. It’s a little like getting good at meditating. It takes time, practice, and you have to make up your mind to make it happen. 

VLN’s approach to fearlessness is to reconcile internal and external pillars that help individuals build deeper personal connections. As you begin to explore the inner and outer methodologies such as meditation, mindfulness, positive psychology, and self-awareness, you will find yourself honing your ability and potential. It will become easier to command your state of mind so that you have better control over your process and output.

Have you ever noticed that those times that you work most efficiently and are most proud of your performance are those times where you didn’t feel a lot of pressure, but a lot of productivity? Sometimes that productivity is quite by accident – where work starts to flow effortlessly, and we get an insane amount of it done in a short time. It’s a great feeling and something well worth trying to get into more regularly.

Instead of your flow being happenstance, you can command the transformation and generate peak performance. There are a couple of techniques you can use that will make it easier to get into the flow. Use them as mental crutches until you can get into this state of mind on demand without any help. That’s the end goal here and one that’s well worth striving toward. 

Pay Attention To Your Most Productive and Creative Times Of The Day and Block Out Time To Work Productively 

We all have certain times of the day when we are more productive and creative than others. You may be more productive in the morning from 10 to noon, but more creative in the late evening, for example. Depending on what kind of project you’re tackling, you can significantly improve your chances of getting into the flow by sitting down or getting to work at the right time of the day. 

Get Prepared 

Whether you’re working on a home improvement project or a big assignment at work, it’s hard to get into the flow when you constantly have to get up to grab more supplies, grab a file, or shuffle through e-files to find something. Make sure you have all things and information you may need at your fingertips whenever its possible so you don’t have to stop and look when you’re in the flow. 

Check Your Surroundings And Tweak As Needed

Lose the distractions! Before you sit down to get going on your project, take a look at your surroundings. Are the conductive to getting focused and inspired work done? If not, what can you do to improve the situation? 

Get Comfy   

Next, it’s time to get comfortable. That means finding a comfortable chair and desk to work at, but also create a setting that’s conductive to flow. Use whatever it takes to transport yourself into the flow state. Speaking of which – check the temperature and either dress appropriately, or set the thermometer to a comfortable level. 

Rest

It’s hard to get into the flow and do your best when you’re tired. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, rest, and relaxation as well. Yes, you can make do on little sleep and work like mad for a couple of days when you’re highly motivated to launch a product, for example, but it isn’t sustainable. 

Play Some Tunes & Try Different Scents 

Have you ever smelled something and a vivid memory would suddenly pop into your head? How about hearing an old song and you remember a person you haven’t thought about in years? Our minds make strong associations between mental states and both scents and sounds. Use that to your advantage. Remember that we are building deeper connections.  We are learning more about our inner-selves and leveraging the power within to become increasingly powerful and in control of our performance. Find the perfect combination of sound and scent to get you into the flow. 

Get Your Head In The Game  

Focus! Getting into the flow is mostly mental. Yes, the outside stuff we talked about helps, but you can sabotage all the preparation in the world if you go in with a bad attitude. Instead, spend a few minutes visualizing what it feels like to be in the flow. 

Motivation Is The Magic Dust That Gets You Into That Flow State 

Yep, you read that right – motivation = magic dust. Here’s what I mean. 

When you’re highly motivated to get something done, it suddenly becomes much easier to get into the flow. But there’s a trick to it. You have to be fully motivated, and you have to be motivated by the right things. Just making sure you get your job done so your boss doesn’t yell at you isn’t going to cut it. 

Think about why it is important to get this work done. Who will it benefit? What impact will it have on you, your job, your family? Make a deeper connection between the thing you want to accomplish (bet it at work or around the house), and a strong emotional response. I’ll give you a hint. Money isn’t really a motivator. What that money allows you to buy and do is what’s the true motivation. Find that motivation and use it to help you get into the flow. I promise it works almost as good as magic dust. 

A Routine Can Be Extremely Helpful For Getting Back In The Flow 

It helps to follow the same few steps to prepare yourself for getting into the flow each time. Before long, just going through the motions of your routine will transport you into the flow state of mind. Sit down and get in the habit of doing sessions of highly productive work. Some days you will work your way into it, some days you won’t. The important thing is you keep practicing, and before long, it will happen for you. 

Aristotle said:

 “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

Put Yourself On A Deadline 

Having a deadline can help you get into the flow because it forces you to cut out all distractions and gives you mind no choice but to focus on the task at hand. It may not be the most pleasant way to get into the flow, but it is frankly one of the most effective ways. 

 

Confront your Enemy 

By far, the biggest enemy of getting into the flow state is indecision. Indecision will have you stopping and second guessing yourself before you even get started. Your first goal in an attempt to spend more working hours in the flow state then should be to get over said indecision. 

Do Whatever It Takes To Get You In The Flow

Let’s wrap this up by saying whatever works for you to get you there, go for it. If that means sipping a glass of wine or some bourbon, go for it (provided you’re working from home and, of course, aren’t driving anywhere). Or maybe it’s your favorite brand of coffee or a good cup of tea. If it means you need to wear your Mickey Mouse flannel pants, go for it. Do whatever it takes – within reason – to help you get into the flow. 

Give these strategies a try and use them anytime you want to get more done in less time. As a bonus, you’ll find you’ll have more fun doing your work, and you’re gaining a lot of pride for a job well done in a timely manner. And let’s not forget that this leaves you plenty of time leftover for the important stuff – spending time with your loved ones and relaxing with one of your favorite hobbies.

Blog 3 – Performing In The Flow

It almost feels magical to transform into your hyper-productive state of mind. As you embrace the revelation of how performing in your flow can add to your life, you will soon begin to discover other areas where you can apply your new mindset.  You know that when you experience your flow: 

  • You have entered into a unique state of mind
  • Your energy levels are high
  • You are highly focused, and
  • You are having fun

You’ve learned that your flow may occur very naturally, requiring little to no effort. But, in order to maximize its effectiveness and your potential for productivity, you can also command the state of mind using various techniques.

Ideally, you can begin to unearth elements of mindfulness and presence awareness that allow you to operate in ‘the now’ – forgoing the worries of what is to come or what has just been.

Leaders who provide the tools, resources, and support that employees need to operate in their flow will notice that the employees are happier, more focused, more creative, and of course, much more productive.

How could these attributes be anything less than a perfect recipe for growth and development within any organization or team?

There is an authentic deep-dive into the connections that individuals make with their inner-potential as well as the external connections that they can make as they are empowered with their flow.

Through practice and preparation, you have identified ways to enter into your flow, and now it’s time to perform!

As we said before, being in the flow is a great feeling. You get more done than you ever thought possible in an effortless way. And for most of us, we find we produce some of our best work when we’re in the flow. Now you may ask, “How do I know if I’m really in my flow?”  

Here are a few signs to look for: 

Work Becomes Effortless 

The first thing you start to notice when you are operating or performing in the flow state is that work becomes a lot more effortless. It’s easy to concentrate and work flies off your desk or your work bench. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing intellectual work, something usually boring (like filing for example), or physical work. When you’re in the flow, the work just becomes effortless. 

Time Flies 

The next thing you’ll notice is that time starts to fly. In fact, you may not notice it initially, because the last thing on your mind is checking the clock. You’re in your groove – sometimes we call it ‘the zone’, and you’re getting things done. Something as silly as checking what time it is or trying to figure out how much longer you have to sit at your desk before you can go to lunch is the furthest thing from your mind. You’re getting stuff done and will likely only realize how long you’ve worked when you come up for air. 

You’re Laser Focused 

Last but not least, you’ll notice that you’re laser focused. Things that usually distract you, no longer phase you. You don’t jump from project to project checking email and Facebook in-between. Instead, you have one task and one task only… to make progress on the one project, you’re working on. 

And that laser focus effort shows quickly. It’s the big reason why you’re getting more done in a shorter amount of time. 

It’s important to recognize the flow state

When you know what it is and what it feels like, you can use flow to your best advantage. Tackle your most urgent or most difficult projects when you’re in this state of mind. 

Last but not least, pay attention to what this feels like and how you got here. This information will help you recreate flow whenever you need – with a little practice. 

 

Work Hard, Play Hard – How Flow Can Help You Do Both 

You’ve heard the saying, “work hard, play hard.” The idea is that you work hard and then have enough time for the fun stuff. What the saying should be is “work smart, play hard.” Working hard doesn’t necessarily make you productive and get more done in less time. Working smart does. 

And one of the best ways to work smart is to get into the flow and stay there as long as you need to. You know what I’m talking about. When you start to work on a project, and all the pieces just seem to fall into place. You’re making more progress than you thought possible and the work goes almost effortlessly. 

How can I keep up such high levels of productivity and confidence?

Good news! There is a hidden booster that automatically refuels you. Your endorphins and adrenalin are flowing, helping you get more done. Since you’re happy (the endorphins at work), and confident, you no longer waste time second guessing yourself. And the adrenalin helps you stay alert and energized while you’re in the flow. Add to that the laser focus we experience when we are working in the flow and it’s no wonder it’s such a powerful and productive state of mind. 

Take advantage of the flow state whenever you experience it and get ahead on whatever tasks are in front of you. 

There are several other ways to stay in your flow:

Watch out for things that pull you out of your Flow 

Getting to a place where the work flows effortlessly and you’re productive and creative while having a great time is a wonderful feeling. Being pulled out of it by a phone call, a spam email, or a Facebook notification about your best friend’s picture of a cat, on the other hand, isn’t such a good feeling. 

 

Getting into the flow is either a happy accident or something that took a lot of work. Once you get into the flow state, your next goal is to stay in there as long as possible and get things done. And the biggest enemy of staying in the flow is distractions. 

 

Take time early on to figure out other small or large things that might distract you from your tasks – Then get rid of them!

 

Last but not least, let’s talk about multi-tasking. We all pride ourselves on being able to juggle three projects and five tasks all at once. It makes us feel super productive. Well, the fact is, tasks take us longer overall when we try to multitask. Our brains work much better when we focus on one thing at a time. And it’s much easier to get into the flow this way. We don’t have to keep mental tabs on where we’re at with every single multi tasked project. Instead, we have one project and one task in front of us. That’s what will get you that laser focus you need to stay in the flow. 

 

Performing and staying in the flow is a bit like running. It takes constant practice to get better and get more endurance. Work on it regularly, and you’ll see results rather quickly. It will make work fly and make it a lot more fun, no matter what you do and what projects you tackle. You’ll end up happier, and more fulfilled by what you do, be it to earn a living, support a cause, or even just a hobby or home improvement project around the house. Performing in your flow makes any project, work task, or chore more fun and fulfilling. And you’ll do a better job to boot! 

 

Blog 4 – Releasing the Flow

How do you leave a great party with the perfect atmosphere, fun, productivity, and time that zoomed by? It’s not easy. When you’re in your flow at work or home, you forget about all of the distractions that pull you away.  If you’ve set the mood, done your pre-work, and really buckled down to enjoy your flow, then the last thing on your mind is releasing it. You don’t stop until the job is done! After all, you’ve been parading around in your superhero alter-ego. 

Remember that getting into your flow is mental.  You have the ability to “think” your way into a flow state where work and tasks will become easy and almost take care of themselves. 

If you used strategies to help your brain transform, then you may have lit candles, turned on relaxing music, or even taken a seat on a bench in the park before you began working.  The susceptibility of our brains to enjoy and bask in the moment is so high that it may even feel addictive – difficult to release. And like addiction, possibly draining once it’s released.

Let’s be honest. We can’t work all day.  We need to have clear stopping points and make sure we’re leading balanced and healthy lives. A part of working in the flow is to attain efficiencies so that we have more time to devote to other aspects of our lives that will enhance us wholly – allowing us to explore our fullest potential.

At work, it may be easier.  In most cases, you have a start time.  There’s usually also a time of day that the boss says you’re no longer expected to be on the clock.  That means, you should be able to wrap up the fun stuff, pack-up your personals, and head out the door.  

Have you ever noticed that its sometimes hard to head out the door—and not because you haven’t finished working yet, but because you’re working so well and just want to squeeze the last ounce of perfect productivity you can out of the moment?  That’s probably your flow, not allowing you to call it quits.

You’re in control! You can release the mindset that you commanded earlier.  It doesn’t take the strike of the clock at the 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM hour.  It just takes your self-regulation and self-awareness.

Ah… now you see that it all intertwines.  Your ability to forge and maintain deep internal connections reach far beyond your morning yoga rituals.  They span wider than your midday meditation moments.  Your deep connections travel back and forth from your inner motivation to your external productivity.  

The boss isn’t the only one that can help drive the onset and ceasing of your flow.  

Being able to work at high speeds when you’re in the flow allows you to work smart and make a lot of progress in a short amount of time — no need to put in hours upon hours at your desk. Instead, you’re in, you’re out and you’re getting your work done. 

Which, of course, leaves plenty of time and money for play. And if you want to play hard, you’re going to need both. Fun toys and experiences don’t come cheap. Working hard and smart and in the flow will help you get plenty of both. And there will be time leftover for some well-earned rest. 

 

If you’re ready to work smart and play hard, make the decisions first, deploy the 80/20 rule (20% of your efforts will be responsible for 80% of your gains), and then get into the flow to get things done. 

It’s not always easy, but well worth it when you are out playing and having fun with your family and friends. 

5 Tips To Help When You’re Coming Out Of A Flow State 

When you’re in your flow, you are super productive and your brain is firing on all cylinders. Your endorphins kick in and you feel like you’re on a bit of a natural high. It’s amazing while it lasts and a super-productive time. 

Coming out of the flow state can be a bit of a letdown. It’s not unusual to feel drained and a bit lost. And after a relatively short time, you miss the fantastic feeling of being in a flow state. Here are five tips to help you cope and get you ready to get back into the flow.

Tip #1 – Revel In Your Success

Start by taking a deep breath when you’re done and taking a look at how much you have accomplished while you were in the flow. You may just surprise yourself. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. 

Working in the flow takes a lot of mental energy. Don’t brush over that lightly. Spend a little time reveling in your accomplishment. It’s good for your self-esteem and will help motivate you to get back in the flow later on (or tomorrow).

Tip #2 – Take Note Of Where You’re At 

One of the biggest time wasters when it comes to just about any job or chore is trying to figure out where you left off. Don’t spend valuable time backtracking and trying to figure out what you were doing. Instead, invest a few minutes to jot down a few notes about your project, what you were doing, and what you should be tackling next. You’ll be glad you did when you come back to this task. 

Tip #3 – Get Some Well-Deserved Rest 

After the initial burst of adrenalin from being in the flow wears off, don’t be surprised if you find yourself tired and mentally drained. It’s completely normal.  And frankly, the adjustment from a high fueled by excitement and adrenaline to utter exhaustion can be a little hard. Acknowledge it for what it is – your mind and your body need some rest. Then relax. Take a nap, do something fun and relaxing, or head to bed early. Allow your body and mind to rest before tackling your next project. 

Tip #4 – Review What You’ve Done 

When you’re ready to get back to work and get back in the flow, spend a little time reviewing what you’ve done. If you took the notes we talked about earlier, now’s a great time to look those over as well. 

Make sure you’re prepared, and you know exactly what you want to work on before you dive back into the flow. Not only will this make your work more effective, but it will also ease your transition back into the flow.

Tip #5 – Plan For Your Next Flow Session 

Before you dive in and try to get into the flow, spend a few minutes mapping out what you will work on and how you will get it done. Your Flow State work session will be that much more productive if you’ve determined what you should work on and made a task list ahead of time. Indecision will get you out of the flow fast.  Avoid this by making all the important decisions first. 

Give these five tips a try the next time you come out of a flow state session and see if they don’t help you transition back to reality and make it easier to get back into the flow next go around. 

 

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