Fun & Flow
Fun. It brings productivity and creativity. Want some?
There are many good reasons why you should have fun. One of them is that you will be more productive and creative when you are having fun. If you find you aren’t getting all your tasks completed at the end of the day, it may be that you just aren’t enjoying yourself enough to get into the “flow” of the activities.
“Flow” has a very specific meaning here. Psychologists* refer to a feeling of focus, enjoyment and fulfillment, as “flow”. Sounds nice? It is. You will know you have experienced this state of mind when you look up at the clock, and an hour has passed, when you thought you’d only been at it for 5 minutes. In case you think this is some fad, think again, the research has been declaring this since the 80’s**.
Flow has many other advantages, as brain states go. BraIn performance is improved, focus becomes laser sharp, things get done and you can often find yourself discovering new creative ways to do things better.
Creative performance is also improved.
Creativity is, in my opinion, the number one skill required to thrive in the 21st century. Just look at the career advice flowing around today. With it you can solve problems. Outcompete competitors. Change the world. Useful stuff!
So how do we get our hands on a bottle of this “flow” stuff? Well there are a few ingredients, like making sure tasks are challenging enough to exercise you, but not excessively so. However the main thing you need here is fun! You can have fun without going into flow, but you can not have flow without fun.
So how do we establish a flow enabling fun state? Start with language, environment and then have at it!
If your workplace uses language which isn’t fun to hear or has an environment that isn’t fun to be in - you will never get into the flow state. This is a sign. Time to leave! Run, as fast as you can. Your current workplace will be out of business very soon anyway because when the competition adopts these modern workplace ideas, they will eat up the market.
More on work spaces in my next article.
* “Flow and its affective, cognitive, and performance-related consequences”. Landhäußer, A., & Keller, J. (2012). In S. Engeser (Ed.), Advances in flow research (pp.65-86). NY: Springer.
** “Optimal experience in work and leisure”. Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly; LeFevre, Judith
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 56(5), May 1989, 815-822.