I am reading BOLD and blatantly reproducing some of its content here.
We all know what Flow is — that wonderful feeling when you realize the last 4 hours have washed away in a rage of productive creation and execution.
BUT, most of us are unaware of how to find Flow — rather, Flow seems to find us.
What if you could find Flow all on your own? What if you could massively upgrade your potential for productivity on purpose and do it regularly?
Implement these 3 strategies and welcome Flow into your life.
#1 Rich Environment —
Novelty and Unpredictability — keys to finding that Rich Environment.
Novelty — Novelty can be encountered in a variety of ways. My favorite example: find a new place to do your thing.
It can be as simple as going to a coffeeshop instead of your desk at home, sitting outside instead of inside the coffeeshop, utterly removing distraction by sitting amongst the book stacks instead of sitting outside the coffeeshop — you get the idea.
This will contribute to your ability to invoke Flow.
Unpredictability — in addition to the unpredictability that comes with your Novel location choice (see what I did there), Unpredictability can be channeled in other ways.
A pertinent example is the practice of reading as though you do not know what comes next…This may sound like common sense, but consider this, do you actually read as though each new thought communicated by the writer is a new discovery? (being a college student studying Political Science and therefore consuming massive amounts of text every week, I know how easy it is to be a passive reader — passivity discourages Flow)
Invoke Unpredictability in simple ways such as reading as though you do not know what comes next.
#2 Clear Goals —
Clarity and Reality — keys to establishing Clear Goals.
Clarity — as the authors of BOLD state, most people see “Clear Goals” and immediately skip the “Clear” part. But it is critical to understand that in reaching for Flow, the Clarity of the goal is of the utmost importance.
As an example, let’s say I tell you to walk from one side of a room to the other while avoiding various obstacles (chairs, desks etc.). Simple, no problem — you now have an explicit goal.
Now I tell you to close your eyes while doing it — I just took away the Clarity of your goal — good luck reaching any sort of Flow without Clarity.
Reality — equally important (given the symbiotic relationship I am stressing here) is the realistic nature of the goals you are setting. You are reaching for a state of Flow, not a Nobel Prize.
Using the previous example of walking across a room, walking from one side of a room to the other is a realistic task (Reality), keep your eyes open while pursuing that goal and you now have a Clear Goal.
#3 Creative Liberation—
Break the Mold — key to achieving Creative Liberation.
Breaking the Mold — do not settle for stagnation. Do not accept rote methods of task completion.
As the authors of BOLD describe it, creativity is the combination of linking new ideas together and finding the courage to bring those new ideas into the world. Creativity therefore cannot function without both halves of this puzzle.
As you link new ideas together and find the courage to manifest this creation, you mount a wave that carries you deeper into Flow.
For many of us, Breaking the Mold will require an active pursuit of new ways of thinking. Tackle problems differently. Go at them backward, sideways, upside down and with style (BOLD).
Go out of your way to stretch your imagination — Liberate your Creativity.
Massively increase the amount of Novelty in your life.
Be realistic — set Clear Goals for yourself while working.
Don’t treat Flow as a mysterious phenomenon — Flow is right around the corner, you just have to open your eyes.
Definitely add Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World to your reading list!
Also — try listening to a new kind of music and see if it helps you find your Flow. Suggestion: Deep House.
Let me know how you find your Flow — it is slightly different for everyone.