3 Ways to Activate Your Creative Flow State
by Ernie Ayon
You know that feeling of being in the zone? Your mind is clear, you’re focused on your current task, ideas are flowing easily, and you work so enthusiastically that you lose all sense of time. That’s what is called a flow state. Musicians, speakers, athletes, stock traders and, yes – especially writers – all want to be in this magical flow state every time they get to work.
1. Find Your Optimal Setting. We all have a different optimal working environment. Some of us need loud background noise; some prefer classical music; others require perfect silence. Find what works best for you and set yourself up to get into this optimal state.
For me, it’s closing the door to my office, putting on the headphones, drinking tea or coffee, and committing to focus for at least 30 minutes. What often happens is that I enter that flow state, and those 30 minutes quickly blur into an hour or two. My next favorite is working from the beach, of course.
2. Make it a Habit. When we repeatedly tap into the creative zone and put our minds into that state, we begin to build a sort of mental muscle memory that makes it easier and easier. Our lives are made up of daily and weekly routines. We should make a conscious effort to make creativity and success a habit.
Commit to a routine that will help you establish this creative habit. Set aside a specific time you will use for focusing exclusively on getting into your creative state. Rather than waiting for inspiration to hit or feeling pressured to force that flow state, just set aside time for the opportunity to let it happen. Don’t be surprised as it begins to get easier and easier. The key is consistency.
3. Sleep on It. Yes, take a break – maybe even a nap. Ask your subconscious mind for a specific idea or answer to a question, and then let your mind rest by doing something else. Nothing refreshes the mind better than sleep or meditation. I have often woken up from a full night’s rest only to find my creative mind highly alert and just begging me to get to work and give life to new ideas. It’s in this golden hour after first waking up that I’ve had some of my best ideas.
If you find yourself stuck, take a break, play a game, go for a walk, or take a nap. Do anything except think about your project. You may find that sudden inspiration hits you when you least expect it.
Ernie is the author of SHARK Belief, the ultimate formula for achievement and success at anything. His vision is to empower 1 million high achievers to reach their goals by teaching the 6 elements of the SHARK Belief formula to entrepreneurs, athletes, and leaders around the world. Learn more about SHARK Belief.