The saying “Time flies when you’re having fun” also applies when you’re so totally focused on something that nothing else interests you and making steady progress seems almost as important as breathing.
Athletes call it being “in the zone”, but it’s a term that can be used in the work world as well.
No matter what you do, you’ve probably experienced times when, you got so involved in your work that the next time you looked up, hours had went by.
You had lost all track of time. While this can have negative repercussions, such as forgetting to eat lunch, it’s typically a good thing because it shows your interest and devotion to your job.
Psychologist call this state of mind “flow”. It is a highly focused burst of concentration and high competence.
There is no doubt that flow, being on a roll, or being in the zone can all lead to high performance if you are flowing in the right direction. Flow can be an awesome tool if you can learn how to harness it.
These may require some effort to master, but will be worth it because each is valuable in and of itself. And when you combine them, their efforts will combine to almost inevitably produce flow.
Cut yourself off from distractions. Turn off the cell phone and close your door. Decide to concentrate only on the business at hand.
2. One task at a time
Do not multitask! Only focus on the one task you have chosen to do at that time.
3. Choose optimal challenges
An optimal challenge is a task where your skill level and the challenge are fairly well-matched. Too much of a challenge, and you will feel anxious and out of control and too little of a challenge will bore you.
4. Have well defined goals
Before you start, decide where you are going and how you will get there. All significant tasks have goals that need to be achieved. A clear goal will give you focus, help you to ignore the insignificant and leave no room for divided attention.
If you are new to this “flow” technique, I suggest you try it in short periods of time until you get the hang of it.
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