How to Increase Flow

You’re running at a good pace, listening to music with a good beat, taking deep breaths, feeling the strength and energy in your body, and it feels good. Sure, it hasn’t been easy getting to this point, but you’re here now, and you feel pride in what you have accomplished by challenging yourself. You’re in flow. Whether you reach the experience of flow through recreational activities or work, it involves becoming so absorbed in what you are doing that you lose all track of time.

Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi, one of the co-founders of Positive Psychology, wrote the book “Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience.” He also gave a TED Talk, “Flow, the Secret to Happiness.” He describes flow as “being completely involved in an activity for it’s own sake.” The time we spend in flow is an important component of happiness. It also indicates purpose and talents.

12 ways to increase the time spent in flow:

1. Have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Set goals that are challenging, yet still attainable. Learn How to Set Goals with a free tutorial, and more with my “Get Goaling” ebook.

2. Get feedback. Measure what matters and pay attention to the results.

3. Find and use your strengths. Strengths include natural talents, skills you’ve learned, and personal qualities or character strengths that are important to you. The free ebook, How to Start a Fire (pdf) includes ways to identify strengths.

3. Look for the sweet spot where skill and challenge are in perfect balance.  The article “Flow Makes Life Better” at talks about the sweet spot and points out that it’s a moving target as skills increase.


5. Design a space to work in that provides what you need to get creative.

6. Use peak time for important work.

7. Eliminate external distractions. Turn off alerts and notifications that might interrupt you.

8. Reduce internal distractions. If thoughts about other things intrude, write them down on a notepad for later.

9. Focus attention and concentrate. Listening to classical music or nature sounds can help focus..

10 Feel the intrinsic rewards of the activity.

11. Become completely absorbed in the activity. When you lose all track of time you are on the right track.

12. Try new activities you might like and expand your comfort zone. While you might try different recreational activities, flow often comes while we are working on something. Savor the activity itself while engaged in it.


Try the Inspire Flow Spinner


Learn more about flow:


I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

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Posted in personal development, positive shift, productivity
2 comments on “How to Increase Flow
  1. […] is not a four letter word. Meaningful work is […]

  2. […] attention so much that you lose track of time while you are focused on them – the state of flow. List […]

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