Flow in the Workplace

As we brainstormed our development goals for 2019, FBG employees were encouraged to think about our best self at work. What does that mean to each of us, and how could our goals help us get there? For me, it instantly connected to the concept of flow.

Flow. What exactly does it mean? It occurs when I am in a state of focused engagement. Time and thought have no attachment to the outcome because experience is in alignment with your passion, purpose and highest and best use of your mind. Who wouldn’t want to be in flow? Even with the best intentions, it is harder than said as everyday life pulls us into flux with daily commitment, technology and even negative thoughts.

The man who pioneered the word flow is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He felt that when you challenge your mind through a desired skill and complete focus, the outcome will be a state of flow. Each person’s “flow” will be different, but the outcome is always the feeling of great enjoyment.

To start, watch yourself and when you notice you are entranced in a project or activity, ask yourself, what was I doing? What actions were being used to get me in this state or mindset. What wasn’t I doing to keep me in that state? As with many things, it takes practice. Eventually, you will be able to discern what puts you in a state of flow and what doesn’t.

So how do you find flow in your job? Most jobs require engagement of a task, some more engaging than others. By following the practice above, realize the tasks that put you in a state of flow and use them to strengthen other parts of your job. Each of us seeks more passion in what we do on a daily basis. When we identify the parts of our job we enjoy most, we can then search out other similar projects that will use those skills. This powerful process strengthens all aspects of your job, which will lead to more joy, and flow, in your life. It can bring new appreciation to your role and the areas in which you wish to grow. My goal this year involves understanding my flow more deeply and growing by being in flow more often.

Wikipedia on Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi