People who like to nurture their creativity, always actively seek the best possible strategies to do so. One common secret in the creativity community is that once someone gets in the flow, they have the best possible conditions to promote their creativity and materialise their creative goals.
But, wait a minute! What exactly is the “flow”? As described by the scientist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, who introduced the term in 1975, flow is the mental state of operating in which a person performing an activity becomes fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, of full involvement and gratification in the process of the activity.
In other words, the person gets totally absorbed by the activity per se, and has no sense of space or time.
This situation is also colloquially called “being in the zone”. Once in this “zone” the person is able to show creative behaviour, while undertaking their activity.
Many theoreticians and scientists of positive psychology have performed many experiments and thorough research in order to find out how flow works and what its impact is on our creative performance.
I would like to share with you five basic tips about how to be in the flow to enhance your creativity. My insights are derived from my personal experience as a creativity amateur and as a psychologist who is concerned with aspects of positive psychology and its benefits to human behaviour and mood.
- Flow is quite a fragile It needs very precise conditions to make it happen, and it can easily be destabilised and lost. For that reason it necessitates very delicate management and total respect of the parameters that nurture it.
- In order to be in the zone/flow, you need to provide yourself with self-discipline. Protect your flow with available time and a special environment. Some people are easily carried away by distractors, like phone calls, people stopping by, TV shows, etc. At the same time, they do not provide themselves with the necessary conditions that ensure getting into the flow: serenity, focus, interest in the subject they are working on, a healthily nourished and rested body, peace of mind, etc.
- You need to show dedication to the flow. This means setting aside a specific time and a specific place to get your creative activity done. You need to engage yourself as often as possible to evoke the needed conditions to enter the zone and stay there, despite any other appealing activities that may distract you.
- You need to have a programme. Creativity doesn’t suddenly appear. It is built day after day, and it is better built inside the flow. A daily schedule can help by giving you specific times to focus on your flow and creative endeavours. Victor Hugo, the great French author, woke up every day at six o’clock and wrote until lunch-time. He claimed these were the best hours for writing and that he wouldn’t spoil them for anything.
- You need to learn to prioritise. You are probably a modern individual with many activities and distinct roles in your life: you possibly are a professional, a parent, a child of someone else, a life partner, a friend, a committee member, a sibling, an athlete, an avid sports-person, a scientist, an artist, a whatever you wish to be. Yet, if you want to enter the flow and produce a creative outcome in your activities, you’d better start making it a priority. You can’t do everything all at once and perform positively. Choose one activity that is of the utmost importance to you right now and give that activity your full focus.
There are so many things to discuss about this amazing phenomenon that we call the “flow”, but we will cover it in many other articles. First, let’s get acquainted with this whole idea. I invite you to start observing your daily activity: do you invite the flow into your life? Is this an attitude you wish to add or enhance? I will be glad to receive your feedback!
If you are keen to learn how to “be in the zone”, you can contact me via email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: +30 6983 282 252 & +30 210 4675543 or by Skype.
My sessions take place at my offices in Athens and Salamina Island or via Skype and Hangouts.
After a longstanding career in research at the National Centre of Scientific Research of France (CNRS) and the prestigious Collège de France of Paris, I have spent more than a decade focusing my activity in the successful treatment of phobias, panic and stress disorders, as well as the personal development and reinforcement of personal strengths, soft skills and emotional intelligence. I am a trained and expert therapist of these conditions.
My therapeutic approach is based upon the application of scientific and psychotherapeutic proven techniques for a comprehensive and successful approach to dealing with the aforementioned issues.
I am a certified Cognitive Psychologist and a Member of the official Association of Greek Psychologists (SEPS). I am also a Certified Member of the European Federation of Psychological Associations (EFPA), and hold a European Certification of Psychological Practice (EuroPsy) in more than 19 countries of the European continent. I am also a member of the International Society of Emotional Intelligence and Member of the International Network of Teachers of CEB (Cultivating Emotional Balance).
I provide Individual Consulting and Therapy for Personal Development and Self Awareness, EQ education (including for the professional field), Life Coaching for successful living and career, Meditative Techniques for Mindfulness, Concentration, Relaxation and Equanimity, as well as group seminars on the topics of Personal Development, CEB, Life Coaching for Successful Living and Goal Setting.
I would be happy to hear your story.
Last modified: November 18, 2018