Every person has both successful and unsuccessful days at work. Sometimes you start to perform a specific task, and in your head - complete chaos. Thoughts run away, you feel irritated and can not concentrate on one thing.
And there is the opposite situation, when everything goes like clockwork. You are completely immersed in work, forgetting about everything. You feel a surge of strength and an elation. You perform your duties with pleasure, losing track of time. If these feelings are familiar to you, then you can be congratulated - you are in a “state of flow”!
In psychology, the flow is understood as a mental state in which a person is fully involved in what he does, which is characterized by active concentration, full involvement and focus on success in the process of activity [Wikipedia].
Due to the state of flow, you increase the productivity of your activities and get more pleasure from work. And who can refuse such attractive prospects?
Most scientists agree that the state of flow is natural for humans. But we rarely feel it because of the presence of a number of obstacles that block access to it. There are two main factors that distance us from the state of the flow in the process of doing work. These include the excessive ease of the task (causing boredom) and the excessive difficulty of the task (causing tension).
As soon as you manage to achieve a balance between these two extremes, the state of flow itself knocks on your door. Let's find out how you can eliminate the two main obstacles that are stopping you from enjoying the flow.
Obstacle # 1: Too easy
Boredom arises from the incompatibility of your skills with the level of difficulty of the task: it seems extremely easy to you. This is quite logical, because for a person it is natural to strive for development and improvement. Too simple tasks make us treading water. Consider whether it will be interesting for a high school student to solve mathematical problems intended for first-graders? Of course no.
Unfortunately, we cannot refuse to perform simple, but incredibly boring tasks (for example, the need to send mailings to our clients or fill in tables in Excel), because they are also part of our work. Therefore, the most optimal solution is to try to make them more complex.
- Try to complicate simple tasks.
If your task was too simple or boring, you have two choices: complain about your unhappy share, losing valuable time, or just complete it as soon as possible and start more interesting activities.
The second option is more productive. Take the bull by the horns! Turn the process of doing boring tasks into a competition. Your opponent, in this case, will be time. Once you have set a specific goal, for example, “clearing the inbox in 15 minutes,” it will be much easier for you to focus on it.
By complicating simple tasks, you can acquire a number of useful skills. Why not learn to use keyboard shortcuts to create documents faster? What about to increase the speed of typing on the keyboard? As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to make tedious tasks more fun. The main thing is to look at them from a new angle.
- Become an expert on simple tasks.
Many of us perform simple tasks on the machine, adhering to the principle: "Made and forgotten." However, no one bothers you to show a little bit of creativity. Are you fed up with paperwork? Then think about whether there are other, more effective methods of document management? If so, tell your colleagues about them so that your company can reduce its financial and time costs for this task. Even better, if you offer them your ideas for improving the workflow. You can learn all the details of the program you use to perform simple tasks. When you know it like the back of your hand, you can do your job faster and effortlessly. In this case, you will not only catch the flow status, but also become an indispensable employee for your company.
Obstacle # 2: Too difficult
The other extreme is an increased level of anxiety, which arises due to the excessive complexity of the task. You are overwhelmed by a wave of fear, because you understand that this task is too tough for you. In principle, any goal should be moderately difficult, so that you have an incentive to improve. But when it exceeds the limits of your capabilities, you simply give up, which prevents you from adjusting to the flow.
- Ask for help from an expert.
If you are faced with an incredibly difficult task, and you do not have the opportunity to extend the deadline for its implementation, you can contact your colleague, who is better versed in this matter. You can send him an email or just go to him at a convenient time for him and ask for help. Forget about shyness and shyness: there is no shame in admitting your incompetence in certain matters. On the contrary, people will respect you even more because of your desire to expand your knowledge. By showing courage, you will kill two birds with one stone: you will get an outside view that will help you solve the current problem, and at the same time strengthen business ties that will further your career advancement.
- Identify your weaknesses and work on them.
Honestly answer the following question: "What skills do I lack to cope with this task?" If you are not self-critical, you may need an impartial opinion of a colleague or friend.
Once you have identified your weak link, concentrate fully on strengthening it. Every day, for a month, you should devote time to work on it. Of course, you will not become an expert in this field for 30 days, but, nevertheless, this measure will help you get on the right track.
Just do not invent any excuses, such as "I already have so much to do" or "I have no money for courses." If you wish, you can always devote an hour or two to self-development. After all, do you always find time to watch your favorite show or “hang” on social networks? As for the lack of money, this is not a problem at all. We live in great time, when on the Internet you can find a bunch of free courses, seminars, books and other sources to improve their skills. By the way, many of my friends have mastered Photoshop and other design programs from scratch, watching (free!) Videos on YouTube. So, the main thing is desire, and there will always be opportunities!
The state of flow is your conscious choice.
The flow condition is not a successful coincidence. This is the result of hard work to improve their skills and working methods. Remove all the obstacles that stand in his way so that the flow becomes an integral part of your life. And then the work will cease to be hard labor for you, and will turn into an interesting and exciting game.