Flow to increase productivity

Have you ever been so absorbed in a task that you lose track of time, miss lunch, and forget to walk the dog? When you feel so wholly engrossed, you might be experiencing a mental state that psychologists (and yogis) refer to as flow.

A good yoga session brings on flow, but so can other forms of exercise. Immersing yourself in your hobby like pottery, model-ship building, or gardening can induce flow. And even writing or (saints preserve us) working on a spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation can get you in the state. Flow experiences occur in different ways but often happens when you are doing something that you enjoy and in which you are skilled. And achieving this state can help you feel greater enjoyment and boost your energy.

Research has found that there are changes in brain activity during flow states and an increase in dopamine released when people are experiencing flow. It gives a sense of well-being, boosts creativity and productivity, and brings about an overall feeling of happiness. It's a good thing.

Achieving Flow

Want to increase your chances of achieving flow? Here are a few tips:

Set clear goals: Flow is more likely to occur when an individual works on a task that has clear goals. A jigsaw puzzle is an excellent example of when a state of flow could happen. The goal is to complete the puzzle with mini goals like flipping over all the pieces, completing the border, and filling in a particular color.

Eliminate distractions: Reduce external stimuli in your environment so you can entirely focus on your task. Shut off the TV, put your iPhone on silent, send the kids out for ice cream, and engage.

Choose something you enjoy: You won't achieve flow if you are doing something you dislike. If you hate spreadsheets, you probably won't find yourself in a state of flow by knuckling down in Excel (unless you learn to love spreadsheets.)

Challenge yourself. As you become more adept at your flow-inducing task, you'll find you want to increase the level of complexity to maintain flow. You might go from the 500-piece jigsaw to the 1000-piece, or you're your way up from writing 300-word blog posts about medical device marketing to 10,000-word white papers on the future of healthcare marketing as it relates to technological advances.

If you want to achieve flow with your healthcare marketing, get in touch. We're Yogi-level (the guru, not the bear) masters of marketing, and we'd love to help.

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