Following up on last week’s blog about Part 1 of Jonathan Foust’s dharma talk about the flow state – we now have Part 2 of Jonathan’s talk, so I summarize what I learned here about how to train yourself to access the flow state at will:
The most creative people tend to be the most disciplined. That’s because we can be as much as 5x more productive in the flow state. A study found that a level of 5% flow is normal, your productivity doubles at 15%. You can cut the 10,000 hours required to master something in half by using flow.
So being in flow is a practical thing – it can improve your productivity for your work life. But wait there’s more – what if you apply to meditation. Pure flow can really help you tap into self-awareness.
There are seven things you can do to help you achieve flow:
1. Cut down on external distractions (eg. clean up your immediate environment).
2. Cut down in internal distractions – meditate or journaling before engaging in the activity you wish to embark upon.
3. Use background sounds to help you along (eg. pure sounds or music).
4. Have a clear outcome in mind for the activity.
5. Conduct a brief routine or ritual before you start – develop neuro-associations (eg. rub hands, other small movements, saying that you think).
6. Engage in the task during your peak biological time – are you a morning or night person?
7. Hydrate or small doses (200 milligrams) of caffeine.