There is this concept called “Flow”, described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on his book of the same name as ” …a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate experience in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning.” Flow is that feeling you get when you are deeply involved in something to the point where you don’t notice time passing or even noticing the work you are doing. I have felt it a few times, when working on artwork or when involved in a particularly involving project, but it isn’t something I get every day. That said, today felt like one of those ays when Flow just seemed to appear.
I started in on some on-going projects this morning and one just seem to meld into the next. I didn’t really notice that time had passed until about 3pm or so this afternoon. I know I was deeply involved, as I didn’t even stop to have lunch or a snack. Under my current weight loss strategy this isn’t something I normally do. I am usually plenty hungry by lunch time, but today I didn’t even notice it. Even more amazingly, I fell back into flow after a short break and didn’t come out again until the family arrived back from their visit to Nonna.
I haven’t felt this in quite a while and it was a great reminder of how I need to seek it out when I am really trying to accomplish things in my life. Unlike most people, I don’t think I am distracted by the Internet, or television, or anything external like that. Rather, I tend to be distracted by my own thoughts and anxieties. On the worst days, I can feel my anxiety as a knot in the middle of my chest or as bees buzzing about in my brain. This makes it so difficult to focus and virtually guarantees that flow will be hard to find, if not impossible. I haven’t found any totally effective way to rid me of these distractions, but sometimes a long walk will help. Most times, though, I just have to push through and accomplish what I can — or must — until the anxiety goes away.
You can read more on flow in Csikszentmihalyi’s book and there are countless other sources on the Internet. I think that any time you can find yourself “int he zone” you will be much more productive than ever. I know we can all use a little more productivity in our lives, so why not check it out.
Previously on End of the Day:
- A little but of this. A little bit of that. – End of the Day for June 16, 2014
- Don’t ask questions you don’t really want to know the answer to – End of the Day for June 15, 2014
- In vino veritas and in conversation, truth- End of the Day for June 14, 2014
- Habits are made to be broken – End of the Day for June 13, 2014
- A week of events — End of the Day for June 11, 2014
- Sometimes I am such the “wife” in this relationship – End of the Day for June 10, 2014
- Tiring to be an adult sometimes – End of the Day for June 9, 2014
- Is it too late? – End of the Day for June 8, 2014
- When spouses travel it makes for a Sad Panda – End of the Day for June 7, 2014
- Noise and the absence of noise – End of the Day for June 6, 2014
- Sunsetting – End of the Day for June 5, 2014
- Summer is finally here! – End of the Day for June 4, 2014
- My Favorite Musicals – End of the Day for June 3, 2014
- Going without cable television — if not cable Internet – End of the Day for June 2, 2014
- Is anyone out there listening? – End of the Day for June 1, 2014
- End of the Day for May 2014
- End of the Day for April 2014
- End of the Day for March 2014
- End of the Day for February 2014
- End of the Day for January 2014