What is your productivity secret? Adam “monkatwork” Kayce has tagged me for the Ultimate Guide to Productivity Group Writing Project. It’s a difficult question to answer.
On the one hand, I do get a lot done. People often say to me that they wish they could also do this or that but they don’t have time. Where do I find the time? That’s the thing, much of what people do to make them productive is subconscious.
My secret I think is “flow”.
Have you heard of that before? You almost certainly will have experienced it. It’s that mood/mode where you are in the zone, you are almost on automatic. It feels good and you do good. It’s not quite concentration, and it’s not meditation either, but you do seem to be able to ignore outside distractions. When you get into that flow “thing” creativity and productivity just pour out of you.
Getting into a flow state
I have not looked into this scientifically, it’s a state I drop into automatically when the conditions are right. Here are some tips for achieving this state.
- Clear a space, in your schedule, in your work area and in your head
- Know what you want to achieve and what it will be like when it is done so you know when to stop
- Do all your preparation first – like a good chef you want all your ingredients to hand
- Turn off the email, IM, twitter, and phone
- Practice – this will only come when you are not finding the actual process challenging, that is do not expect flow when trying out new software or an unfamiliar task. Even then you will need to practice.
- Don’t try to force it – when it doesn’t come there is usually a good reason
Read more about flow at Wikipedia.
Chris, you are losing it
I know some of you will be thinking this is all pseudo-mystical mumbo jumbo but really it is something very normal and common. Sports people especially know what it is like, but it is difficult to describe all the same. My recommendation is to look out for it, you probably go into flow without noticing. If you get into your work and look up and wonder where the time went, you probably have just experienced it.
Who are my victims?
I am going to tag