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How to get into the flow? 7 tips for more effectiveness in your work

The famous flow: Ultimate tips on how to get into the flow state to work effectively and with focus

Everyting flows

You suddenly become completely absorbed in your work. Everything goes easily by the hand, you work at full speed, but you are so relaxed and satisfied. In this state, you complete one task after the other, only to look back on the last few hours a little tired, but extremely happy. This phenomenon, which sounds almost too beautiful, is flow - and you can achieve it. 

Even better: you should achieve it. Because flow at work makes you more efficient, but also makes you happy and satisfied despite higher performance. However, for this to succeed, the circumstances must also be right. The question of all questions: How do you achieve flow at work?

What is flow anyway?

The flow state was first described by the Hungarian-American scientist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. It is a state in which one loses oneself completely in one's activity and forgets one's surroundings. At the same time, one experiences a high level of concentration and is focused only on the actual work. 

The flow state was given its name because at this moment everything is flowing. It is a kind of intoxication. You have certainly experienced the flow itself, at least as a child. In the same way, it does not have to be limited to work. You can also get into flow in a hobby, while cooking, while learning or even in a relationship.

1. Flow comes with the right task

The truth is: you won't be able to get into the flow easily with all activities. If you're not challenged enough, you'll simply get bored. Excessive demands in turn create pressure, which also takes the wind out of the flow experience. 

It is therefore important that you see a higher meaning in your work. Likewise, it should challenge you while being up to it. However, you don't have to change jobs to finally get into flow at work. A lot happens in the mind - the mindset is everything. So be aware of why you're doing the job and what greater benefits it brings.

2. The right environment favors flow

Of course, there are also external factors that contribute to flow at work. So in an open-plan office or home office with screaming toddlers, you'll have a harder time focusing. That's why it's important to create the right environment when working. A clean and tidy workplace is essential. You should always have the necessary things at hand and thus give your rush of activity a chance.

3. Factors disrupting the flow

If you experience a flow while working, you concentrate completely on your activity and perform it with satisfaction and focus. However, this doesn't work if you are constantly reminded of other things. An e-mail here, a phone call there and the flow is destroyed. Therefore, turn off all disturbing factors before you start working. Let the people around you know that you need to concentrate for the next hour, for example. Likewise, simply mute your cell phone or turn off all notifications.

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4. Flow & Fokus

Effective work requires full focus. It is not advisable that you juggle three activities at the same time. If you're trying to finish a report, don't interrupt that important email to your boss. Even less should you now look up what you could cook in the evening - you can do all that later. If you're having trouble concentrating, jot down any intervening thoughts on a piece of paper and refer back to them when you're done. 

But now you want to get into the flow. Therefore, do all important tasks, such as the e-mail to your boss, beforehand to have a clear head. Afterwards, concentrate on this one activity for the flow and don't switch to the next one until you can't completely check off the first one.

5. Breaks for more flow

Even though flow makes you effective and happy while working, your brain is working at full speed at that moment. So you can't get into flow inexhaustibly. Because even though working in flow is fun, it is still work that requires your performance. Therefore, allow yourself regular breaks in which you can briefly recharge your batteries. A few steps, a cup of coffee, lunch or a quarter-hour power nap are all you need. Afterwards, you'll be recharged and ready to work effectively.

6. Negative feelings destroy your flow

Why was the last time so many people were in flow as a child? The time when you could tinker around in a highly concentrated way and forget everything around you. One reason is certainly that back then you didn't carry things like fear of failure, lack of self-confidence, or constantly surfacing negative memories. 

Remember the lightheartedness you had back then and try to put it into practice in the moment. Keep negative feelings and thoughts away from your desk to give flow a chance when working. The truth is that if you have a lot of negative thoughts, you will not be able to concentrate and even less to flow. Therefore, try to keep them away from you and look forward to feelings of happiness and moments of success after working effectively.

7. Flow & Feedback

The freer you can work, the easier it is to get into the flow. Because the flexible allocation of tasks and time already makes your mindset look completely different. In the same way, you don't just want to think, you also want to feel that your work really has value. With this in mind, supervisors can also do a few things to help employees on the path to flow at work and, accordingly, to greater efficiency. A fair distribution of tasks and, above all, regular feedback play the main role here. But even as a freelancer, self-employed or with an ungrateful boss, you can provide the necessary feedback. Draw a conclusion with yourself about all the things you have mastered and even say them out loud.