You know that feeling when everything seems to be clicking? You’re focused, energized, and consumed by the task at hand?
In today’s over-connected world, it can be difficult to achieve flow. Things like social media, email, texts, phone calls… the constant demand to be “on” at all times… take away from your ability to get into flow states.
Distractions often rule the day. How well you’re able to manage them will determine how much flow time you experience.
However, eliminating distraction is not the only way to achieve flow. In this article, I’m going to outline 3 ways to achieve a high-flow lifestyle where you can experience massive productivity, creativity, and achievement.
In my Dad’s most recent book, “Unleash the Peak Performer Within You”, he calls the things required to achieve flow, “flow triggers”.
By the way, if you have not yet gone to get your copy of this book, you need to stop reading this article right now and go to www.tigerpi.com/book. This is a must-read.
Ok, back to flow triggers. Here’s 3 flow triggers that you can begin to employ to achieve a high-flow lifestyle:
1. Curiosity, Passion, and Purpose
Maybe this should be numbers one, two, and three? I don’t know. I think they go together really well, so we’re going to keep them in a group.
When I was young, I could name over 200 active Major League Baseball players. I could tell you oddly specific details about the players, teams, and even knew how to imitate all of the batting stances of the league’s superstars.
But if you asked me what I learned at school… no idea.
As a kid, I suffered pretty heavily from ADD. But, when it came to things I had a deep sense of passion and curiosity for, I was consumed.
Whether or not you have ADD, the same applies. You know the feeling… working on a mundane task at work, time goes by very slowly, the work never seems to end. But, when you get to that project that means something to you, everything changes. There’s seemingly not enough time in the day, everything around you begins to disappear, and you become totally consumed by the project.
When curiosity, passion, and purpose align, that’s flow.
2. Clear Goals
Imagine for a moment that you wake up in the middle of the night and realize that you are very thirsty. We’ve all experienced this… you wake up and feel like you’ve been stranded in the desert for 40 years without water.
So, you decide to get up and walk from your bedroom to the kitchen.
When you do not have clear goals that are written down, that you look at every day, you are walking around in the dark with no sense of direction.
As you’re walking to the kitchen, in the dark, you feel an abrupt, painful sensation in your shin. At that very moment, you remember there’s a coffee table in the living room, which is in the path from the bedroom to the kitchen. As the pain settles in, you let out a loud shriek, waking everyone in the house.
When you do not have clear goals, it is much easier to run into obstacles keeping you from achieving productivity, creativity, and purpose. Also, the frustration that comes from these obstacles can often disturb those around you from accomplishing their goals.
After everyone settles down, you decide you’re not thirsty anymore and go back to bed.
When you do not have clear goals, you forget where you were headed and often just give up.
Let’s take the same story, but this time, do it a little differently. When you wake up in the middle of the night, you recognize that you are thirsty. You decide to get up and, after leaving the bedroom, turn the lights on in the hallway and living room so that you have a clear path to the kitchen. You make it to the kitchen, unharmed, and get your glass of water.
Do you see where this is going?
When you have clear goals that are written down and looked at daily, you essentially “turn the lights on” in your own pursuit of your goals. You make better decisions, you are more productive, creative, and passionate, and after all of that, there’s a clear path on how that goal can be achieved.
3. Challenge/Skill Ratio
The ratio of the challenge at hand to your skill level is an important concept to understand in order to achieve flow.
When the challenge is greater than your skill level, things like anxiety, stress, and worry settle in.
When your skill level is greater than the challenge, you can easily become bored and unmotivated.
Flow happens when the challenge at hand meets your skill level to complete it. Skill and knowledge are necessary prerequisites of flow.
As you can see, the three flow triggers listed here build on each other. Clear goals are driven by a sense of purpose, passion, and curiosity. When you have clear, SMART goals, the challenge meets your skill level, driving motivation and productivity.
So, consider each one of these flow triggers, find where you may be lacking while celebrating the areas you are succeeding. Then move in purposeful curiosity toward achieving a high-flow lifestyle every single day.