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Flow state

July 2, 2020

We all want to cross all items in our to-do list and feel wonderful about it.

I enjoy flow state more than ticking items off a list.

Flow state can be identified by the feeling of being completely lost in what you do.

Total immersion.

To the point where someone might stand right beside you and say your name, you can hear them say your name. But it’s almost like you are in a trance. You hear it, but you don’t respond.

During flow state, one is engaged in pure creation.

Perhaps if I were a painter, I would feel the same way if I were to use my brush on the canvas continuously with determined energy for hours at length.

The noise in my head disappears during flow state.

Flow state is bliss.

It’s hard to be in flow when you’re moving from task number 2 to task number 3. It’s not for being productive.

Flow state is more suited for processes of creation - writing (this very post), designing (I design app interfaces), writing code, or running while staring slightly ahead on the ground.

Over the years, I’ve found 4 things that have made it easy for me to enter flow state. These might help you too.

4 tips to easily get into flow state

Photo by Christin Hume

1. Sit looking at a fixed landscape ahead of you

Whether it be a wall, or the cityscape overlooking the balcony window. You don’t want too much movement in front of your eyes. For this reason, whenever I would work at coffee shops, I’d take the corner table facing the wall instead of other people, like some sort of a sociopath. Worked every time.

2. Have a glass with a beverage of choice

Preferably that beverage should last you several hours. My favourite is to start with a cup of hot black coffee, and keeping a water bottle handy to keep filling the cup whenever it gets empty.

I do end up drinking a lot of water this way.

3. Plug in your headphones and put on something that doesn’t distract you

You don’t want to stop and think about the music playing in your ears, you only want it to give your mind a soft background to fall on.

I love Lofi, Chillhop, Synthwave playlists on YouTube. You can clickthrough to find my playlists and get started quickly.

4. Keep your phone away

Phones are the ultimate source of distraction. Switch your phone notifications to silent. And move it away from your line of sight.

I've found just looking at my phone produces a strong enough urge to pick it up and unlock it. The easiest place to put the phone is right behind your laptop screen, but you can also put it in a drawer if you like.

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