Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Have your ever lost yourself in your work, so much so that you lost track of time? Being consumed by a task like that, while it can be rare for most people, is a state of being called Flow.
In my experience, it’s one of the keys to happiness at work, and a nice side benefit is that it not only reduces stress but increases your productivity. Not bad, huh?
What is Flow?
Put simply, it’s a state of mind you achieve when you’re fully immersed in a task, forgetting about the outside world.
When you’re in the state of Flow, you:
- are completely focused on the task at hand;
- forget about yourself, about others, about the world around you;
- lose track of time;
- feel happy and in control; and
become creative and productive.
One thing I love about Flow is that it takes the very Zen concept of being completely in the moment, and applies it to work tasks.
Why is Flow Important?
The ability to single-task (as opposed to multi-task) is one of the keys to true productivity. Not the kind of productivity where you knock off 20 items from your to-do list (although that can be satisfying), where you’re switching between tasks all day long and keep busy all the time. It means closing key deals. It means quality instead of quantity.
To be able to concentrate for a considerable time is essential to difficult achievement.
– Bertrand Russell