July 14, 2010

Five Easy Steps to Finding Your Flow, Part One

BY John Paul Narowski IN Productivity 0 Comment

relaxation au crÈpusculeThe application of Zen practices to business and personal life has been getting huge amounts of attention these days, and for good reason. The advantages of simplifying, tuning out the noise, being in the moment completely and finding higher levels of creativity and productivity can have staggering effects on your output.

Zen Life: How Close Are You?

If the ideals behind being Zen just don’t register with you, you’re not alone. Wrapping your mind around Eastern philosophy can be about as easy as doing a Rubic’s Cube blindfolded. Surprising as it might seem, you have taken part in many Zen experiences and have reaped the benefits without really knowing it. One of the most common is the State of Flow.

State of Flow

Have you ever been totally engrossed in a task or activity to the point where you cease to think about every single action, lose track of time and just act? This is the state of mind known as flow and it increases productivity and creativity, reduces stress and allows your conscious mind to take a backseat to the other parts of you. Throughout history many practitioners of Zen Buddhism such as monks, martial artists and samurai warriors have used their meditative abilities to enter this state and achieve almost superhuman feats.

Even if you’re not into decimating opposing armies on the battlefield or breaking iron bars with your head flow can still be easily achieved. Here’s five easy steps to find your little slice of productivity Nirvana:

1. Be Passionate About Your Work

You can’t lose yourself in a job that you absolutely loathe. This kind of task encourages distraction and procrastination, which are the enemies of flow. While we all have to do things we don’t enjoy from time to time, if your job is filled with these, maybe you’re not in the right line of work. I’m not saying you should give your two weeks notice today or take revenge on that vending machine that robbed your Milky Way last week…but maybe it’s time to consider a change.

If that just isn’t the cards for you, then try to do more jobs you do enjoy in your position. Take your examples of higher productivity to your boss and see if you can’t map out a better job description for yourself.

This is the first part of a two part series focused on Finding Your Flow.  Please join us on Friday for the conclusion to the series and the final four steps to finding productivity.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

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