by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
Think for a minute about when you do your best work. Or, think about past times when you felt that you were very productive, and you got a lot of things done.
I’ll bet that one common trait of all these experiences is that you felt fully focused, fully engaged by your work and you weren’t interrupted every 5 minutes.
Guess what? This is not an accident.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszenthmihalyi, who has done a lot of research in this area, coined the term flow to describe this highly productive mental state when we become completely focused, engaged and absorbed by our work. I also believe that this is an ideal place to work from as well.
This state is very similar to the “zone” that you try to get your athletes to, to get them to perform at their best.
Imagine what it would be like if you could enter this state much more frequently than you do now. Do you think you would be more productive? Would you get a lot more stuff done?
I believe the answer is pretty obvious. Well, there are certain conditions that make it much more likely that you’ll enter into this flow state.
The reason why I’m bringing this up is that if you can create and align these conditions on a regular basis, you can end up with some very productive periods throughout the day.
I think that if you can figure out what your highest priority is, block off the time in your calendar, and create an environment free from interruptions even for 45 minutes more in your day, you will get more valuable to building your program work done than most coaches get done in a week.
The problem is that it’s rare for these conditions to happen accidentally as part of your average day. In fact, it’s much more likely that these conditions are NOT going to happen, UNLESS you take active steps to MAKE them happen.
That’s why it’s important to intentionally design your ideal day – to make a conscious decision to create the conditions that will naturally lead you to have a very productive day.
What are those conditions though?
The place to start with is awareness.
If you never have felt that you have been in the flow work state, document the process that you currently go through while working. When it is documented, you can analyze what is happening and make changes.
When you do get into the flow state, what was happening around you? Is it in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Was their noise in the background? Where their people around or were you by yourself? Just like when you help your athletes get into flow, you need to be aware of why it happened.
It will be impossible to be intentional about setting up the right conditions to get yourself in a flow state unless you are aware of what is going on around you. Once you know, intentionally set up your days to continually make improvements to not only the quantity of tasks completed, but to the quality of what you achieve every day.
If you want my help figuring this out, I am now taking on a few more coaching clients. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.