Use Flow to Achieve More

Have you ever heard of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow? It can be life changing once you become aware of how to harness this awesome achievement tool. Flow is defined as the experience of full and deep, enjoyable involvement in what you are doing. Not only is it great for achieving, but also for simply being happy.

Studies have shown the more a person experiences flow in their average week, the more likely they are to describe themselves as strong, active, creative, motivated, and happy. Who wouldn’t want that?

Maureen Gaffney, in her book Flourishing, discusses flow and goes over the eight elements of flow. They are:

  1. You take on an activity that is challenging and requires skill
  2. You concentrate fully on what you’re doing in the moment – no distractions!
  3. The activity has clear goals
  4. The activity provides immediate feedback
  5. Deep involvement removes the frustrations and worries of everyday life from your awareness
  6. There is a sense of control
  7. Self-consciousness disappears
  8. The sense of time is altered

Flow is why my husband and I love to do escape rooms together so much. We get locked in a room together and have 60 minutes to focus on the task at hand and figure out a way to get out together. It is a wonderful experience and something I’d recommend to anyone who loves puzzles!

There are several benefits of intentionally establishing flow in your life. They are:

  • You find yourself less dependent on external rewards
  • You become capable of finding purpose and enjoyment in what you do day-to-day, even if it is difficult and tedious
  • You are more open to a variety of experiences
  • You keep learning
  • Your relationships improve
  • You are able to better manage the challenges that life throws at you

Pretty cool benefits, huh?!?  So the idea is to consciously create flow in your life by intentionally setting up the eight elements of flow. Think about how you can create flow with some of your day-to-day activities.