Thursday, November 09, 2006

Flow

Ever had those moments when time just seems to melt away and you are engrossed in your activity? Before you know it, it's 8pm at night. How often do we get those moments when we're in the groove?

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this state of optimal performance "flow".

How do we achieve flow?

  1. Skills are needed.

  2. There are achievable goals.

  3. Rules provide focus of energy and boundaries of control.

  4. Quick feedback is evident to the person.

  5. We are able to control actions.



Almost any activity can achieve flow, knitting, praying, gardening, walking, even sex!

Flow is the optimal state where the task is neither too simple that it becomes boring, nor too difficult that we become discouraged.

I believe that we must manage our tasks and activities in all areas to be optimal. And managers of other people should attempt to create flow conditions for subordinates. Often workers don't have adequate skills, get none or negative feedback, the goals are unrealistic or rules and guidelines are not clearly communicated or implemented or they are not given authority and power to do their job.

To achieve flow, attention is needed, we should not be distracted by other things in our mind and just concentrate on what is essential. Remember our mind has limited capacity.

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