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Would you like to feel a little more in flow in your daily activities? How do you ensure that flow? You know, when you’re doing somehting and completely lose track of time?

To maintain balance it is nice to be able to be fully absorbed in (necessary) activities. If you are very focused you get so much more done and you usually get it right in one go. You’re working efficiently and effectively when in flow.
So, how can you ensure that moments of flow do not just “happen” to you, but that you’re able to consciously plan them?

Monday flow day

Monday is often a flow day for me. A day when I get a lot done. Even though my mini, aged 2, is home, I have to do both household tasks and work things and the house looks like something exploded here … Monday is usually my most creative day. It flies by. Leaving me full of energy that lasts in the evening, how nice is that! I benefit a whole week from all the stuff I do mondays. My house is in order at the end of Monday, my social media schedule ready, my appointments prepared, my administration updated, the groceries done and the laundry and ironing updated. Really? Yes, really! And a flowy Monday sets the tone for the rest of the week. A good start is half the battle, right? 😉
That’s why, I mean it when I say: #ilovemondays;) What is your favorite day of the week?

Below you will find the 10 steps that help me to (re-) find my flow, even on the non-Mondays of the week. Ready? Set? Flow!

Step 1: Research

Before you start your ‘task’, it is important to investigate when you do what best. So at which hour of the day do you work best, feel most focused? And do you need absolute silence to be able to concentrate? Or is a certain amount of background noise exactly what you need? Not everyone is at their best in the morning, certainly not me;), so that is certainly useful to know about yourself. Although that is not true for me on Mondays … it might be a mindset thing… I will get back to that in a next blog! What is true, is that productivity peaks vary per person. And if you know when you are the most productive, you can (partially) adjust your schedule accordingly.
Here you will find some here the time management tips if you like that.

Being more specific:
-> Are you an evening person or morning person?
-> When do you generally have the best ideas?
-> What do you need for a good concentration: silence or background noise?
-> Write down 3 moments that you now remember that you were doing something in which time flew by.
What were you doing? How was this moment special? What made it unexpected that time went fast?

Step 2: The right place

Find a place where you feel comfortable and where you can do your work. You must be able to stay focused and be completely absorbed in your task. Although it is nice to work somewhere where, for example, your colleagues are, it could be too big a distraction if you really want to get into the flow. I work best at my kitchen bar. Close to my child, at the center of the house, sitting on a comfortable bar chair. 🙂

Being more specific:
-> If you need silence: where do you experience it the most? What do you need for that?
-> If you need sound around you: where do you experience it most favorably? How can you ensure this yourself?
-> If you are creative: where can you best do that? What do you need for that?

Step 3: Pen & paper

Another one in the preparation category. I always make sure I have pen and paper. Whether it’s a piece of paper or a notebook doesn’t matter. The point here is that you can write things down. So, imagine you’re working ‘in flow’ and suddenly you realize that you need to call your mom, or you have to arrange that one thing, or a brilliant idea comes to mind. But … these things have nothing to do with what you are doing at the moment. What to do? Write your thoughts on your (draft) paper. Now you don’t have to keep thinking about it and you can continue with your task. Writing helps to remember things.
I am quite a fan of leuchtturm1917 notebooks quite a neat-freak when it comes to my notebooks. That eventually became a little too time-consuming, so I got myself a draft-notebook. I allow myself to write in sloppy handwriting, cross things out and draw random stuff. Using one notebook instead of millions of paper scraps helps me keep random notes together and not loose them, which used to happen sometimes …: \

Being more specific:
-> Get out a draft paper / booklet and paper before you go into the flow.

Step 4: Eliminate distraction

Put your mobile on “Do Not Disturb”. Better yet, ensure more productivity while doing something good for planet earth. 🙂 Plant real trees while enjoying the flow. The app forest does this automatically and is my personal favorite productivity app. All you have to do is stay away from your phone. 😉

Being more specific:
-> Switch off your mobile, close the door. Make sure you can’t be distracted.

flow

Step 5: Goal

Write down which task you want to complete or which goal you want to achieve “in the flow”.
This gives you a direction and helps you resist the temptation to give in to distracting activities.
Important: writing down is what matters. It provides extra motivation. If you want, you can make your task / goal SMART. (specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic, time-bound) So: Before when do you want what to have done / achieved?

Being more specific:
-> Write which goal / task you want to complete / achieve before when and how. Eg: Today, before the end of the morning / 12:00, I will have finished my blog of at least 500 words, put it online and shared the link on 2 social media channels.

Step 6: Brain dump

Keep your pen and paper handy, because for this step you’ll “dump” your brain. Before you start, write down everything that comes to mind. You don’t want to have an excuse to scroll on the internet / social media and see the hours slipping away. In this step you’ll clear your head by getting your to-do list, still-to-google list, still-to-be-shopping list, still-to-be things out of your system. A clear head thinks sharper.

Being more specific:
-> Empty your head. Create space for flow.

Step 7: Food and drink

I ensure that I always start prepared for my flow moment. By that, I mean I arrange something to eat and drink before starting. I don’t want to get thirsty or hungry in the middle of my flow and then first have to think about what I want, go get that, get talking to someone I meet on my way … Find out what gives you energy, what you feel like eating& drinking. On Monday mornings cappuccino and a glass of water work fine for me.

Being more specific:
-> What do you like to get energy from?
-> What do you like to drink besides water?
-> Get that ready before you start.

Step 8: Music

Just before actually getting started, I turn up the volume of a happy song. I choose something that gets me moving. Listening to the right music gives me an energy boost. I made an energy-boosting playlist for myself, which makes me feel happy and active. I often catch myself dancing. Now I’ve got my mind ready for flow and after my happy-dance my body is ready for flow. 🙂 Of course you don’t have to dance, any form of activity is fine.

Being more specific :
-> Make sure you feel flow in your body, feel it flowing through your body. It really helps me to dance.

Step 9: Breathing

Now I breathe in consciously and deeply a few times to let everything go. Tension, if it is still there. Unrest, if I still feel it. I feel the air filling my lungs. I breathe all the way to my belly. Lower my shoulders, feel the weight of my arms and how relaxed my neck and shoulders are.

Being more specific:
-> Release deep tension and unrest in your body. Do this a few times until you feel that your arms, neck and shoulders are relaxed.

Step 10: Put a smile on your face and GO!

Small tip! Just to be sure: turn on a timer in case you need to be somewhere, sometime. You never know how long you’ll stay in flow;)
I have created a flow worksheet that you can download and print. I’m happy to support your flow! 🙂

In summary: you should now have a #GOGOGO mood | a relaxed body | a relaxed mind |focus | motivation.

I’d say: enjoy:)

Everything is a choice.

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