Drive up your Levels of Effectiveness.
We all have a lot on our plate and quite often find ourselves jumping between tasks and meetings, lacking at times the intentional focus on the important work at hand.
I wanted to share why working on one thing at a time will help you enter what’s called a Flow State.
Getting into a Flow State on a specific project or task can drive up your productivity levels fourfold at least. Seriously.
Also known in the psychology world as being “in the zone”.
Imagine being able to work less, but get more done.
Multi-tasking or jumping between different work is not how highly effective people get a lot done. It loses you time.
Highly effective people get a lot done by doing one thing at a time and hitting a Flow State.
What is a Flow State?
In positive psychology, a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity
Flow State happens when you are 100% focused and where you are totally absorbed in one thing and one thing only. Checking your phone is an example that can throw you off and your brain in multiple different directions. Getting into a Flow State is an intentional action to commit and engage in a specific activity.
There are many flow triggers that can help you get into the right zone and really focus, such as a looming deadline or the repercussions of failing. But wouldn’t it be good if you didn’t need that applied pressure in order to achieve more?
Flow State is a really effective method for leaders to get more done and have a bigger impact on their team and the wider business.
How do I get into a Flow State?
1) Environment - you are a product of your environment, I cannot stress that enough. Set yourself up for success by having a comfortable seat and desk, clear from clutter, no distractions and your phone removed. Then within your Laptop or computer, open just the apps you need to complete the specific task. Emails or Slack notifications firing off will distract you, mute them.
2) Goals - Flow State is when you are fully focused and immersed in one task and one task only. The work you should be committing your valuable time to should be important work, rather than busywork. What I mean by important work, is work that is going to help you achieve your goals or objectives, rather than doing things that might need doing but not are particularly important, but are generally easier and make use feel productive.
3) Flow Activity - what activity or exercise gets you feeling great and energised to sit down and work? A flow activity should be a springboard to other benefits. For example, I like to run. Post-workout, I feel less stressed, more energised and my mind is firing. What activity or thing helps you get into the right headspace so when you sit down at your desk you are ready to go?
4) Plan - it’s amazing the simple task of planning tomorrow, today, has on you. Imagine sitting down at your desk at 09:00 am and you get straight into the task and hit your peak, rather than checking emails or thinking what should I work on today for the first 30mins. Start fast, don’t let your planning slow your day down. Otherwise, you’re already behind.
5) Schedule - schedule 30-60 minutes of focused work each day to get yourself in the zone and commit purposely to working through that challenging task that will get you closer to your goals. Stay disciplined and do that one thing only.
6) Recovery - in order to have more focus and enter into a Flow State more often you need to rest and recover. Throwing hours at a problem doesn’t help you solve it any quicker. Taking a step back to sharpen your saw with rest or sleep can help you see the bigger picture or find a better way of handling the problem at hand. If you don’t rest or recover you won't enter into that productive state, you remain as you are and over time you will burn out.
Focusing on one thing and one thing only will help you get more done and be more effective. Taking the time to be fully present by doing one thing at a time will allow you to achieve more and stress a lot less. The feeling of flow is rewarding and it soon becomes habitual if practiced daily which in turn will build momentum and help you achieve higher quality output in a shorter period of time.
All the best
Resources Of The Week
Book - The Myth of Multitasking by Dave Crenshaw. The Myth of Multitasking proves that multitasking hurts your focus and productivity. Instead, learn how to be more effective by doing one thing at a time.
YouTube - Simon Sinek on the MOST Self-Destructive Habit. Simon talks about why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others as it’s destructive and there is a healthier way of going about this.
YouTube - Admiral William H. McRaven - 10 Lessons from being a Navy Seal. Inspirational speech from McRaven where he shares the things which will help you to lead a better life, achieve more success and make a difference in the world around us.
Leadership Community - I’ve opened up a free Leadership Community. This will be a private safe place for leaders and aspiring leaders to calibrate and improve as a group. If you are interested in joining to develop your leadership and professional skills within a nurturing, positive and supportive environment, please complete this form here to confirm why you wish to join.
Quote of the Week
“You can do two things at once, but you can’t focus effectively on two things at once.” - Gary Keller
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