A 30 Minute Flowstate Cocktail
Ideally we’d all like to reach flowstate with some regularity. How much more productive and happy would that make us? If you’re not lucky enough to live in tiki hut next to a beach where you can go surfing daily I’ll suggest spending a little bit of time on a daily flow practice.
The professional work environment can be counter-intuitive to flow; work often involves rote, repeated tasks that more monotonous than challenging and often business we don’t get immediate (or instantaneous) feedback on our performance it takes weeks, months or years. Thus I would suggest doing this in the middle of your work day to get yourself into a peak state...
Mindfulness (15 - 20 minutes)
Focused attention is a really crucial component of flow. Thus you’ll want to spend 15 - 20 minutes doing meditation, brain training or something like HRV training with Heartmath emWave Devices mentioned above - I’ve reached some very sublime flowstates with cannabis (you probably don’t want to get high on weed in the middle of the workday, so maybe try some small doses of CBD oil) and HRV training, as have others and some research on the Heartmath Institute’s website has some interesting published research.
Is perhaps the original flowstate trigger. You want to listen to focus promoting music while trying to reach flow. I find that Brain.FM is great for this but really any holosync style tunes would work. What you probably wouldn’t want to listen to is hip hop or rock music with a lot of lyrics that take a bit of your attention away from what’s ahead of you. Although, some authors would disagree with me, in Tim Ferriss’s excellent Tools of Titans he interviewed some prolific writers that find that listening to the same song (or album) on repeat for hours and hours powerfully simulates creative flow.
Skill-Challenge/Clear Goals/Immediate Feedback (10 - 15 minutes)
Immediately before or after (you’ll have to experiment to see what works best for you) the mindfulness practice you want to spend a little bit of time doing something that takes some skill but is challenging, where you have a clear goal and you receive immediate pass/fail feedback. Some ideas for this...
Videogames - Especially fast paced videogames where you are racing or shooting are conducive to focus; you have a clear goal like winning a race or killing bad guys and you get immediate feedback Obviously you’d want to pick a video game with levels that only last about about 10-15 minutes, you don’t want to get sucked into a game that you’re going to want to play for hours.
Gambling - There’s ton of places on the internet where you can play all sorts of gambling games that require focus, there’s stakes (you don’t want to lose money!) and you get immediate feedback. You’d want to pick games of skill as opposed to be games that entailed a lot of randomness.
Gravity - In The Rise of Superman, experiencing gravity is a consistent flow trigger among extreme athletes. You’re probably not going to go free running along the ledges of a skyscraper during your lunch break so you’d want to find a way to experience (or simulate) visceral gravity. You could do this from the safety of your office with a cheap VR headset that you slip your smartphone into.
I know that some of you guys are pretty hardcore gamers, which video games or genres do you think might work best for this?