Have you ever played sports and experienced a state of ease where everything seemed to happen naturally without a lot of forced thought or effort? It could have been your lowest golf round, highest scoring hockey game, or even a runners high - the same can happen in business and sales.
Flow, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one's sense of space and time.
Imagine being able to increase your productivity levels by 500%. What would that do to your sales and bottom-line? Sound unrealistic? In his talk at Google, Steven Kotler discusses a 10 - year business study that was done by McKinsey where they found that top executives were 5x more productive in a state of flow versus out of flow. Essentially, you could work Monday in a full state of flow and take the rest of the week off and still accomplish the same amount of work as your steady paced peers.
Here are 6 Factors to experiencing flow:
1. Intense and focused concentration on the present moment
2. Merging of action and awareness
3. A loss of reflective self-consciousness
4. A sense of personal control over the situation
5. A distortion of temporal experience - time is altered
6. Experience is intrinsically rewarding - autotelic (having a purpose) experience
Here's how to activate Flow:
There are 3 conditions that have to be met…
1. Clear set of goals and progress. This adds direction and structure to the task
2. The task at hand must have clear and immediate feedback. This helps the person negotiate any changing demands and allows them to adjust their performance to maintain the flow state
3. Must have a good balance between the perceived challenges of the task at hand and their own perceived skills. You must have confidence in one’s ability to complete the task at hand
How to achieve Flow more often: Be curious, Be persistent, Have low self-centeredness, and a High rate of performing activities for intrinsic reasons
You got this!