Often, we find that our daily multitude of thoughts can slow down or completely halt the flow of productivity. And while the momentum of these thoughts is difficult to control at times, they also lead to a disorganized mind. Studies have shown that a disruptive mind can lead to high stress, chronic negativity, and impulsive action, which in turn can cause health issues – not to mention the wasted hours of incomplete work.
Of course, we live in a world of balance – so the opposite is an organized mind, which can lead into a state of flow. Experts describe flow as being fully immersed in a task, free from all distraction. Those “in flow” have shown to be five times more productive than they would be with their attention drawn elsewhere.
In some cases, being “in flow” is essential for a startup, or small business owner. The more productive you are, the more business you’ll eventually bring. Here are five ways you can stay “in flow” and remain productive.
Challenge Yourself Carefully
It can be easy to lose focus when the task at hand is either too hard or too easy. Flow is achieved through a healthy challenge that stimulates without causing anxiety or boredom. Be mindful when choosing which tasks to tackle to increase your chance of flow.
Control Your Emotions
As humans, we can’t help how things make us feel; however, we do have complete control over how we react to these feelings. Be truthful about how you feel and why you’re feeling such a way – this can help redirect those emotions into productivity.
You want to point out and categorize your emotions as you feel them – make them more physical by associating them with words. The goal is to remain calm and make sense of why you’re feeling the way you do. By simply tucking your emotions away, they’ll continue to fester and distort your focus.
Keep Up the Focus
Nothing hurts worse than having the desire to get a task done, but constantly losing focus. It takes time for the mind to become deeply involved in a task, and studies have shown that it typically takes 20 minutes. So for 20 minutes, turn off all distractions and attempt your tasks. You’ll find yourself more absorbed with your work around the 20-minute mark.
Quite possibly the most important step of all – half the battle can be won by remembering to take breaks. Our bodies just weren’t meant to sit through long hours of work. According to research, a 17-minute break should taken after every 52-minutes of consecutive work. While that may seem a bit unrealistic, the mind can get tired. And the body cannot properly function without the mind – take regular breaks.
Shift Back into Work
After taking a break, you may find yourself back at square one trying to become focused and achieve flow. Basically, you’ll want to repeat the first three steps over again, find your flow, take a break when needed, and then cycle all over again. It’s not quite as difficult getting back “in flow” after a short break, but it becomes more possible with a purpose.
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