Flow - the optimal state of performance


Flow, the optimal state of performance described by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, is a state in which one is fully concentrated on the task at hand and feels immersed in the performance. Working in a flow state requires the task to be challenging enough to be motivating and yet achievable without frustration. In this state of full concentration, work is both productive and motivating. Luckily, there are some concrete actions to achieve flow easier.

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  • It is difficult to get immersed in any task if you get continuously distracted. Try to eliminate unnecessary sources of distraction in work and studies.
  • Knowing what to do and how to do it will contribute to the flow. Planning helps to set the goals, adjust the challenge level, and to optimize the working environment.
  • In the design of an online course, be clear and explicit about the learning goals and methods in the course. Give the content a clear and easy-to-follow structure. Also, keep the technical implementation simple to help people to focus on the content.
  • Feedback and guidance from the trainer can support the flow of the course participants. Instant feedback from the course assignments and guidance for next steps help to focus on the right things.

Optimizing your challenge level and eliminating distractions can increase the amount of productive work you manage to do - as well as make it much more motivating.

When have you achieved the flow state, and what made it happen?

How could you help your team to have more time for focused work?