When I coach people on using their natural talents via Clifton Strengths , the #1 talent people in this country have is Achiever. The Achiever’s motto is: “Get it done, get it done, get it done” and not just during the week. They’re even getting “it” (whatever it is) done on the weekends. Super achievers feel like downtime is a huge waste of time.
Except that it’s not.
Downtime allows you to stop, check-in, and feel. We are so caught up in our mind and our “to do’’ lists that it keeps us from being in a flow state. “Doing” all the time blocks us from our potential, our opportunities, our greatness, and our dreams.
SO WHAT’S A FLOW STATE?
‘ Flow states ‘ are pretty much like being in the zone — where all pistons are firing and time seems to stand still. You move through the task without distraction or even wondering what to do next. You experience producing results without much effort or force.
We’ve all had that experience but most of us have no idea how to tap it on demand. Tapping into the “flow” starts with sitting still and being quiet. When we are still, we can be present. When we are present we can tap our creative consciousness. When we are busy, our minds are sooo preoccupied with everything we have to do and handle, we squash our creativity.
I created the Awaken Your Greatness Challenge by sitting on the couch, staring at the garden of flowers on my balcony, writing in my journal, drawing pictures, figuring out how things connected and saying things out loud and testing them. My process required stillness, reflection, and thinking — all in the morning because that is when I am at my most creative.
I coach my clients to schedule strategic thinking time into their week. Thinking time is enormously important for leaders at every level. We don’t take enough time to think, reflect, wonder, or ponder. That time is important to being in the flow state. That flow state leads to greater productivity, greater creativity, and so many other things.
THE BENEFITS OF FLOW STATES
Here’s what the experts know about the benefits of flow-states :
- Better emotional regulation
- More overall happiness