How to attain Flow

In the previous post mentioned flow to be phenomenon where you experience ultimate ecstasy , feeling of timelessness and complete immersion in your work. In this post I would tell about ways to get into this state.

First let me tell you about skill – challenge curve given by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who coined this term.


This graph represent a person’s state while doing any task. As seen, this depends on skill possessed and challenges he/she faces.

Inferring from the figure, flow can be achieved by-

  • Being aroused in work. ~ When Challenge>Skill

The enthusiasm to face challenges not only increases the skill set but also an effortless state is achieved. All the Popular saying – work hard, party hard or to be present in the moment and lot more of the “self-help” talk is a means to achieve ‘flow’ only.

  • Next is control. ~ When Skill> Challenge

One can be good at something and have complete control over it. But this can be boring, as there are few challenge to play around sub-consciously. So bring creativity in setting challenges for yourself. These can be in form of goals, deadlines, etc. The objective here is to create little more engaged with your work.

A simple case can be framing questions before-hand of text you want to revise. Then try answering those after revision, with the aim to maximize the score.

  • Develop skills. ~ Challenges>>>Skills

Flow cannot be achieved if your skills and challenges are not matched with each other.

Think it like this if you want to write, compose or play music, etc then it cannot be achieved if you do not have master skills. Usually it takes nearly months of practice if you want to be in this state.

  • Avoid distractions.

Keep phones away and a distraction sheet with you. Stay away from anything or anyone who can distract you. Remember NO FOCUS, NO FLOW.

The objective of the above steps is to develop enough momentum. Do not stop till Flow is achieved. To summarize it –

Engage ‘actively’ in work by introducing ‘creative’ challenges ‘without distractions’ and ‘flow’ would follow.





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