Several years back, ‘flow’ became a buzzword in the Cognitive Neuroscience world. Researchers and authors started talking about getting into the ‘flow state’ as a means of working more efficiently, feeling happier, and even being more creative.
The idea of working efficiently in flow is all about being consumed in one task – so the counter argument to multi-tasking for productivity.
I must admit, I would like to pretend that I can multi-task with the best of them. And maybe I can maintain a certain about of juggling before I drop all the balls. But flow state is a more comfortable fit, and actually quite rewarding too.
I think it’s informative too. When you find something you can flow at, it seems to me that this might be ‘your thing’. You know, that purpose we are all searching for in life. I enter the flow state when I am writing, and it’s a place where time stands still for me.
But it’s not just writing, it’s also artsy-crafty things like jewelry making, and more recently I’ve got into gardening. It’s almost like a moving form of meditation for me.
A lot of people with struggle with meditation, and I totally get that. I struggle too. Society didn’t raise me to be okay with sitting or lying still during my waking hours. My brain has been trained to keep my body active and productive at all times.
I’m not saying that’s right, in fact it probably accounts for a lot of our psychiatric problems in the world, this feeling of not being okay to ‘just be’. But could a flow activity be an oasis in a dessert of rest-related guilt?
It does help me a lot.