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How to find flow in the workplace

Guest Blogger, Rik Nauta

Many artists and athletes have experienced a state where they’ve felt completely immersed in the activity that they’re practicing. It’s a feeling where time and space seem to fade away and the task at hand becomes increasingly effortless. It’s an intense, yet relaxed, experience that lets a person become one with what they’re doing. That feeling is a mental state commonly known as flow, named by the psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi.

Finding flow in the workplace can lead to a happier and more successful life and there are techniques to help you achieve that state more frequently. And yes, even lawyers can find flow. Anyone can experience flow while performing an activity, although it is more likely to occur when the task is engaged for intrinsic purposes.

According to Csíkszentmihály, three main criteria must be met for you to achieve flow. Let’s dive in:

Clear goals
It’s important to have clear, well-defined and intrinsically motivating goals that you have set for yourself. It can be as simple as breaking down your workload and picking one specific task to focus all your attention on.

Clear and immediate feedback
As with goals, the task needs clear and immediate feedback. You need to know what you’re doing and where you’re going. Use the feedback as information to help you make necessary adjustments to maintain and stay in the flow.

The challenge must match the perceived skills
The most important part of achieving flow is to find a balance between challenge and skill. This can be a little tricky to accomplish. For example, if a task is too easy it can become boring, but if it’s too difficult it can foster anxiety. It’s all about balance — match your skill level with the challenge level of the activity.

Want to learn more? Go read our latest blog post for other helpful tricks on achieving flow.

At Donna, we thrive on feedback from the legal community. Feel free to say hello or send us any feedback, ideas, or even any gripes you have about MS Word. You’ll find us in the chat on www.donna.legal.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Rik Nauta
CEO and co-founder