How to Achieve Flow and Happiness at Work and in Life
how to find flow at work

How to Achieve Flow and Happiness at Work and in Life

Don't you think it's possible to go to work motivated every day? Of course you can!

Khanim Hajiyeva

Have you ever become so engaged in a project that you lost track of time? While it may be unique for most people, being consumed with an activity like that is known as being in the flow.

It's one of the keys to workplace happiness in my opinion, and as a nice bonus, it not only lowers stress levels but also boosts productivity. Good, huh?

However, what is Flow? Why is it crucial? And how can we consistently attain it to improve our productivity and happiness at work?

What is the flow state at work?

Mihály Cskszentmihályi, a psychologist, created the term "flow state theory" in the 1970s.

Cskszentmihályi researched how people can continue to perform well and for enjoyment even when they are not paid externally, along with co-founder of positive psychology Jeanne Nakamura. Starting with highly accomplished people, such as doctors and dancers, their study later included a wide range of individuals.

The psychologists found that people, regardless of class, culture, age, or other factors, find enjoyment in experiencing the most intense moments of being engaged in an activity rather than in leisure or relaxation.

When one is completely concentrated on a task and output flows quickly, an intrinsic motivational state known as "flow" develops.

When you are in the flow state, you:

  • are completely engaged on the subject at hand;
  • forget about themselves, others, and the environment;
  • become moment;
  • feel content and in charge, and exhibit creativity and productivity.

Why is Flow state at work Important?

Increased satisfaction because your flow state product often serves as its own reward. More engagement in your work. Feelings of greater creativity since flow state make you feel less self-conscious. Attention to what you're doing.

How to achieve flow and happiness in your work?

Choose work you love

You won't be able to lose yourself in a task if you hate it. You might want to think about looking for a new job if the majority of your work is something you detest. Alternately, think about looking for projects at your existing employer that you enjoy. Whatever you decide to do, be sure it's something you can be happy about.

Choose an important task

There are tasks you enjoy doing that are simple and unimportant, and then there are tasks you enjoy doing that will have a lasting effect on your career and life. The latter will be a much better use of your time and of Flow, so pick that option.

Make sure it’s challenging, but not too hard

If a task is too simple, you can finish it without giving it any consideration. A task should be difficult enough to need your complete attention. But if it's too challenging,

You won't be able to really engage yourself in it since you'll be focusing most of your attention on figuring out how to accomplish it; alternatively, you'll become disheartened. Finding tasks with the right amount of difficulty may require some trial and error.

Find your peak, quiet hour

Actually, these are two processes combined into one. Finding a peaceful moment will be your first priority if you want to focus. For me, that is in the early morning hours, before the clamor of daily life picks up to a low rumble.

That might be in the early hours of the day when you've just woken up or when most people are still getting ready for work or haven't arrived yet.

You may also try the lunch hour when people are typically not at work. For many people, evenings are also effective. Or, if you're fortunate, you can do it whenever you find a peaceful place to work.

It should also be your time of most energy. It's not a good idea to go for Flow right after lunch for some people who grow weary. Find a time when you're energized and able to focus.

Learn to keep your attention on that flow state at work

You need to practice this. You must begin your chosen task and give it all of your attention for as long as you can. Many people who are accustomed to continuously switching between tasks would first have difficulty.

But keep at it and constantly restore your attention to your objective. You'll improve. You should become engrossed in Flow if you can maintain your concentration on that work without getting sidetracked if it has been carefully chosen (it should be something you love, something significant, and something tough).

Take pleasure

In some experiences, losing yourself in Flow is a wonderful feeling. Being able to put your all into something is wonderful.

Bottom Line

Being able to enter a flow state has many positive effects and rewards. When you're in a flow state, both your work and personal life are more joyful. You can feel better, work more efficiently, perform better, and be happier.

Put these ideas and advice to use by practicing flow. You'll soon enter the magical state described by Csikszentmihalyi in his 2004 TED Talk:

There’s this focus that, once it becomes intense, leads to a sense of ecstasy, a sense of clarity: you know exactly what you want to do from one moment to the other.”