Four Ways to Hack Into Your Flow State | Kelly Howell

Do you want to experience more flow in your life?

Of course you do. We all do. The Flow State of consciousness is magical. It’s a time of total engagement with an activity that brings immense joy. It’s a time when the ego falls away and we become one with the task at hand.

Flow is a state of rapture.

I admit, this sounds like a transcendent state of consciousness, which in a sense it is, but Flow is readily accessible and can be experienced regularly.

We now know the anatomy of the Flow State, and how to cultivate it.

In his seminal book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi states,

“To achieve a flow state, a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the performer. If the task is too easy or too difficult, flow cannot occur. Both skill level and challenge level must be matched and high; if skill and challenge are low and matched, then apathy results.”

Think of sports like tennis, skiing, or running––when everything lines up just right, suddenly you feel exalted, joyful, elated––you’re “in the zone.”

Athletes, artists, musicians, dancers experience flow regularly. It’s their life; it’s what makes all the practice and discipline worthwhile.

It’s the payback.

There’s nothing more exhilarating than hitting that sweet spot called Flow. Some even say it’s addictive.

Steven Kotler, author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance, describes flow as,

“An optimal state of consciousness, when you feel and perform your best,” he says. “It’s the moment of total absorption. Time speeds up or slows down like a freeze-frame effect.”

Hack into Your Flow State at work, at home and in everyday life.

  1. Dive into Full Enjoyment

Set an intention to spend time each day to fully focus on an activity you are passionate about. Choose a task that brings back present and future rewards. A pet project perhaps? We’re so busy doing our lives, sometimes the things we love to do most are pushed aside. These activities are the gateway to the flow state. Make the time to enjoy doing something that you love, even if it’s only for a little while each day.

  1. Find an Activity You Love.

Pour your energy into an activity that is challenging and that you can get lost in. If the task is too challenging, it won’t give back enough pleasure. If the task is too easy, you’ll lose interest. The activity needs to offer back rewards for your effort.

  1. Choose your Ideal Time

Only you know the best time to engage in the task you’re passionate about. Find a time when you are alert and energized when you can become fully absorbed.

  1. Turn off Distractions

Flow doesn’t like to be interrupted. Clear your space, physically and electronically. Unplug from notifications, ringers, and all. Full engagement is demanding, but worth the effort. Once you are in the Flow State, time flies. Your whole being is involved and this is where the magic happens.

Remember the flow state is waiting for you to join it.


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  1. Steve  July 25, 2016

    In #2, lose was spelled “loose”. Please stop propagating this error.

    • Kelly Howell  August 9, 2016

      Hey Steve! Thank you for watching my back. I don’t have a good copy editor so anytime you want a job…:-) Kelly