Protect Your Flow

April 20, 2018


“Flow”, that state of being “in the zone”, lets you create your most significant, productive, and satisfying work. For a creative professional, it’s most important to create conditions that allow regular, predictable, flow.

Turn off all push notifications. You don’t need to read that message right now. Group chat is the mind-killer. Turn that shit down. Create a routine of checking your email and messages during administrative time between flow sessions.

Put on sound-dampening headphones, and listen to ambient, rhythmic, non-vocal audio (Spotify’s Focus playlists are fantastic). Avoid visual distractions, even in your peripheral vision.

Avoid interruptions and context switches. If your work area is not amenable to this, take a laptop and leave. Go somewhere you can focus.

Pick a length of time for “flow work” and commit to it. After the session is over, take care of your body, and get social. Eat, drink, go to the bathroom. Mingle with (not currently focusing) coworkers. Check your email, take a walk. Prepare for your next flow session.

Managers, allow your creative crew to have solid flow sessions throughout the day. Use asynchronous communication (email) instead of synchronous (chat). Create separate focus vs. social spaces.

Flow is when you achieve your best work. PROTECT YOUR FLOW.