Do you flow into engaged activity? Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has researched flow and outlined how we can achieve flow at work. I have appreciated his ideas on flow for years and I believe flow can be seen as a close synonym for personal engagement.
You experience flow when you are fully immersed in what you are doing. You experience energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.
Here are the ingredients to percolate flow:
- You set clear goals
- You concentrate and focus
- You lessen or lose self-consciousness
- You have an alterted sense of time while being immersed in the moment
- You have direct and immediate feedback
- You create balance between your ability and the external challenge
- You act out of personal control
- Your motivation or reward for the activity is intrinsic
- You are fully absorbed in the task at hand.
Have you experienced flow at work? Blend the ingredient above to design your work to achieve flow – the psychology of optimal experience.
Marcus Buckingham in his latest book on strengths, Go Put Your Strengths to Work, has defined strengths in a similar way to flow. He outlines 6 powerful steps to achieve outstanding performance. Strengths are defined as an appetite for an activity, strengths strengthen us, we look forward to working on these activities, and we feel high levels of satisfaction after completing activities based on our strengths. Look to experiences that provide flow as keys to unlock your strengths in the workplace.
Like freshly brewed coffee poured into a waiting mug, flow into your strengths to experience higher levels of engagement.
Go with the flow…
- Click here to read a more detailed outline of flow.
- Read Steve Palvina’s 7 Rules for Maximizing Your Creative Output.