1. Select a task.
If you want to enter flow, you need to select a task that’s challenging enough to create a state of arousal. If you can’t select a task that’s stimulating and engaging, then you need to create more difficult goals within that task to create an optimal level of difficulty that can draw you towards a state of flow.
2. Develop proficient skills.
After you’ve selected the task, you need to develop the skills required to meet the demands of the task. If the task is difficult and challenging, developing your skills to meet the demands of the situation will help you find flow–after all, if you don’t have the skills the task will be too difficult.
If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and have all of the skills necessary, then you need to re-frame your goals and find ways to make the task more meaningful.
3. Set clear goals.
Part of finding flow is being clear on what you want to achieve. Specify markers that will let you know if you’re in the process of achieving your goals and signs that indicate when you’ve successfully met your goals. These indicators will help give you feedback during your task.
For tasks that aren’t sufficiently challenging, adding the goal of being fully present is a difficult and worthwhile goal that may help facilitate a movement towards flow.
4. Eliminate distractions and frame your experience.
Put down your iPhone, turn off the television, close out of your group office chat, and glance at the clock. You’re going to need a minimum of 15 minutes to enter a state of flow, so make sure you have sufficient time allocated to the task at hand.
Show your goals and the state of consciousness you wish to enter some respect by creating an optimally encouraging and safe environment.
5. Immerse yourself in the present moment.
Start bringing your awareness to the now. Connect to your breath and what it feels like to be in your body. With deliberate movements, go about your activity while allowing the mind to remain focused on sensations and actions rather than being distracted by thoughts.
As thoughts and feelings enter your mind, allow them to pass by like clouds against a blue sky. Remember, finding your flow means staying grounded as the sky and letting everything else melt away. You are not your thoughts, you are not your fears, you are the witness-awareness of motion.
Become one with your task, and enter the zone of peak performance, happiness, and fulfillment. Learn to pay attention to what’s happening in the present moment and start enjoying your immediate experience.