3 Strategies for Finding Flow in Chaotic Times
Getting in the zone is a science-backed way to hit goals faster and feel happier too.
The other day I was busy working on some copy for a new sales page. The words were flowing — it felt like they were pouring out of me. A couple of hours went by and I didn’t even notice the time passing. I was so caught up in my work, and yet it all felt so easy and effortless. I was in the zone — I was in a state of ‘flow.’
Flow, a concept identified by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, occurs when someone is in a state of mind where they are effortlessly focussed on the task at hand. According to Csikszentmihalyi, “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”
He describes being in flow as “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”
In my experience, once flow is achieved, extraordinary growth happens. This is when you become super productive, and can hit your goals with ease.
But how do you get into a state of flow? Here are my top three tips for finding your flow, even during these uncertain times when things can feel chaotic, so you can achieve business success.
1. Work in your zone of genius
To really get into flow, you need to spend time in what The Big Leap author, Gay Hendricks, calls your “zone of genius.” According to Hendricks, when you are in your zone of genius, you capitalize on your innate natural abilities. This is the best state for getting into flow. When you are in this state you can be continually inspired and create outstanding work that is far beyond what others are capable of. To achieve this, you need to only focus on the stuff you love doing. And ditch or delegate the other stuff. It lets you focus on the things you are ‘genius’ at and do those things incredibly well.
2. Tune into your intuition
I remember when I started to pay more attention to the spiritual nature of my business and started trusting my intuition, remarkable things unfolded for me. I began connecting with my inner spirituality and energy, exploring what it meant to follow my intuition and trust myself. This allowed me to take risks and make unconventional decisions, which in turn, accelerated my business.
Intuition is defined as "the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning." But what does this mean on a practical level?
Your intuition is filtered through your physical mind. Have you ever walked into a strange environment and immediately got a gut feeling about it? In the millisecond you entered this new environment, your "higher mind" integrated all the aspects of the situation.
When intuition hits, refrain from judging the idea solely based on how much sense it makes; instead, evaluate it by how it feels. If the idea feels expansive and exciting, you can be assured that it is your higher mind talking and it is surely a worthwhile exercise to explore your idea further.
Our intuition has the ability to access information well beyond our programmed mind. So listening to your own intuitive ideas will help you to get into a state of flow.
3. Ditch the hustle mentality for inspired action
One word I don’t buy into when it comes to being productive? Hustle. Forget those stories that say in order to hit your goals you need to ‘hustle’ for 12-15 hours a day, you’re lazy or you’re not a ‘real’ entrepreneur. In spite of the logical thinking that says: “The more you hustle, the faster you reach your goal” I know this very often isn’t true.
In fact, in my experience, when I swapped the “hustle philosophy” for “inspired action” philosophy things became so much easier in my business.
When you refuse to accept the hustle and invite flow, the inspiration for what to do, or not to do, to hit your goals flows fast. Your productivity increases. It’s called alignment.
Rather than hustling or “pushing,” simply take action upon receiving an inspired idea. Taking inspired action naturally creates ease and flow in your business.
The world around us may feel uncertain and even chaotic right now, but you can still find your flow and experience a much greater sense of ease in your work, which will in turn create greater success and productivity.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer