Increase Your Levels of Focus and Productivity by Spending More Time in Your Flow State

Updated: Apr 7

Focus is the key to success, right? So why is it that for so many of us our time seems to be riddled with procrastination.

If you are struggling with low levels of focus and productivity- listen close, this will help you out.

We have all heard of ‘being in the zone’, but the reality is that the majority of us don’t understand what that really means. Let me introduce you to a concept named by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in 1975: Flow State.

The Flow State refers to moments when you are fully immersed, absorbed and energised in what you are doing. It is when you are so intently concentrating on the task at hand that you lose your sense of time. Adopting this state of consciousness enables you to achieve your optimal mental and physical performance as your action and awareness merge.

In his Steven Kotler's Ted Talk, co-founder of the Flow Genome Project, discusses what our minds are capable of in a State of Flow. I suggest you check it out at, but to sum up:

· You are able to absorb greater amounts of information, and quicker

· You pay more attention to the information you are interacting with

· You can produce greater links between the information you are absorbing and information that is closely related (the fancy name being ‘pattern recognition’)

· You can produce greater links with the information you are absorbing and far flung, loosely connected information (and, the fancy word being ‘lateral thinking’)

· Your capacity to learn improves with the increase of your short-term and long-term memory storage

Source: Forums-

But how do you get into a State of Flow? To increase your levels of focus and productivity you must build your life around triggers. Here are five triggers that will enable to you to harness Flow:

1. Define clear goals for yourself: these don’t have to be big goals, just define where you are going to improve your attention in the here and now.

2. Have control over your environment: rid yourself of ALL potential distractions. Whether it’s your phone, your dog, or that bar of chocolate sitting in the fridge, it’s your responsibility to create an environment where you won’t be shuddered in and out of concentration.

3. Make sure your motivation is intrinsic: your motivation for the task at hand must be driven by internal rewards, it has to be naturally satisfying to you. If you are solely performing an activity for an external reward, such as bagging some cash, the ability for you to harness a State of Flow could be much lower. Intrinsic motivation, such as the pure sense of achievement in completing the task at hand, will increase your attention and absorption, thus increasing your overall performance.

4. Make sure the challenge of the task outweighs our skills: the likely chances are that you have heard the quote ‘life begins at the end of your comfort zone’, I want to reiterate the importance of this concept when harnessing your state of flow. Your task should sit slightly beyond your skill set in the way that you enter unfamiliar territory. This sense of challenge will help us drive us into a state where we perform our best. Don’t underestimate yourself, embrace what disconcerts you.

5. Seek feedback: use those around you to keep you on track. Reaching out to others for feedback will give you clarity and direction when you have wandered from the beaten track. It’s easy to get carried away and lose sight what you were initially trying to achieve. Ask and listen to others fresh and impartial perspective, it may well give you the clarity you need to propel yourself into a state of flow.

High performs regularly tap into their flow, perhaps it’s time you did to?

Join ALIVE today for more tips on reaching this kind and other kinds of optimal states within your mind and body. Put your health and wellbeing first and be best version of yourself.

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