Winning flow


Sometimes we sit and stare at a paper for hours and absolutely nothing happens. Other times it is all so playfully easy. You neither see nor hear anything around you and you complete your task in a jiffy. You are in the "flow". Kinnarps has had a look at the latest research!

Studies show that when we are in the "flow", we are five times more efficient than we normally are. Many large companies, including Facebook and Google, are currently working actively to get their staff to attain this concentrated, amazing feeling when everything just flows. The savings in terms of time are clearly huge. Imagine if we would be 20 per cent more effective! We could "save" one entire day in one working week. So what happens in your brain when this "flow " occurs? In pure medical terms, a cocktail of endorphins and hormones kicks in all at once. A typical example of "flow" is the athletes who suddenly surpass themselves and barely remember what happened afterwards. Or when you sit at work and feel that there is no end to how much information you can take in. When this happens you just want to keep working in order not to break your concentration. But the right conditions must prevail for "flow" to occur. "For athletes, it often involves a certain degree of taking risks," says researcher and author Steven Kotler, who has written the book The Rise of Superman.At work, it is about other matters. We must feel challenged, that the task is difficult but we will succeed if we do our best."For an unexperienced orator, it is perhaps about standing up and making a presentation. For someone else it may be about managing a new project. But if the task is overwhelming, or impossible, the opposite occurs and we become passive and anxious."According to Steven Kotler, the surroundings are crucial, so that we find ourselves in a place that is conducive to creativity and concentration. Only then can the "flow" occur.