Last night, I made a realization about “flow state” that I never quite took seriously before that I think might have a profound affect on your productivity and creativity.
If you don’t know what flow state is, it’s basically
that time where you have no conception of time, discomfort, or even failure. All you know is what is in front of you.
Have you ever experienced this? If you play a sport or an instrument, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve ever felt like “time flew by”, you know what I’m talking about. Last night, I experienced it a few times tonight — the last time on accident. And I figure if you can create this state on purpose more often, you’d get some pretty amazing results.
The first time I experienced it last night was when I was at my pole fitness class. It was an advanced level class — which I thought I was ready for. But when the instructor showed us we were going to be doing something like this
I tried to keep my cool. For the first few minutes, I thought “I can do this. I got this. I do handstands all the time. I practice using that twisted grip, too. I know all the basic components to do this.” But attempt after attempt, I fell — the move was unsuccessful. I kind of just stood there thinking “Maybe this is too hard.” I looked into the classroom next door where a beginner’s class was learning. I thought “Maybe I should just sneak out of here and stay in the beginner class…” Yeah, I was seriously contemplating going up to the instructor and telling her something along the lines of “You know what, I think I made a mistake. Do you think I could go join the beginner class?” but something in me told me to stay. After about 10 minutes, I felt a mental shift. It is subtle. You don’t realize you’ve entered flow state until AFTERWARDS.
But suddenly, there was no such thing as failure.
All there was was my body, the pole, and the repeated practice of that upside down twisted hand grip. And I got it!
The same thing happened later on last night when I was alone in a private studio room working on my routine for competition. After 15 minutes, I had this strong urge to just leave and give up. But for whatever reason, I decided to stay. Once I got past that point it was like I unlocked a whole ‘nother part of my brain. Creativity, ideas, inspiration was just flowing from ME. There was no internet access to distract myself from … myself, lol. It was all me. I mean, it kind of feels like you just took some kind of smart pill. You were totally yourself as you normally are. Which includes self-doubt, rationalizations, indecision, and perfectionism. Then all of a sudden… that’s gone. And you don’t even realize it.
So I put this amazing flow state to use. Maybe you can try what I did. Here it is: How I get into Flow State step-by-step
1. Choose an activity you need/want to do, but have been putting off
2. Set a timer for 20 minutes
3. Begin working on the activity (AND ONLY that activity)
4. Feel the urge to give up. Feel the “I don’t want to do this!”. Feel the sensations of fear that you aren’t doing it perfect. Feel the self-doubt, feel the indecision, feel all of it. And keep going anyway
5. Notice when you timer rings, you have all of a sudden LOST all those negative feelings and sensations you had earlier. Notice how now, you don’t even want to stop doing the activity. Continue until you feel complete.
Leave me a comment below letting me know how this worked for you. Do you think you could schedule a time in your day, every day, to put yourself into flow state? What would that do for you this week?
You know, as awesome as this is, I’m such a life hacker that I gotta know if there’s a way to make this process go faster, hah! But anyway… I hope this technique helps get you closer do your goals, #dreamchaser