The Olympics are a big deal in the Calihan house. During the past 2 weeks, we were glued to the games. Watching the best athletes in the world come together – the energy, the passion, the sheer joy – to do what they’ve worked their entire lives for on a global stage, is nothing short of mesmerizing. Watching athletes like Phelps, Ledecky, Biles, and Bolt make history in their events, I couldn’t help but draw questions and connections about what these performances teach us about creating joy and satisfaction in our own work.
Research informs us that engagement, or flow, in our lives is a significant factor of our overall well-being. These are the activities that fully absorb your focus – when time stops for you. When the challenge at hand matches and slightly pushes the edge of our skills and strengths, we have optimal conditions to experience flow. To watch Simone Biles on the balance beam is to witness flow. She is not thinking about her homework or distracted by the floor routine music in the background – she is totally and completely focused and immersed in the flow of her routine. Flow is the ultimate form of living in the present moment and enjoying it. It is a perfect balance of concentration and ease. When you’re in flow, you’re often doing and creating in ways that enhance your skills and mastery while making valued contributions to your organization.
Challenge: Create Flow in Your Work This Week
You can create more flow experiences in your work by intentionally planning and participating in your flow activities. Consider: in your job, what are you doing when time stops for you? What are the activities that absorb your attention – in which you’re challenged, able and interested? What are you doing when you’re fully present? What conditions enable this for you - do you need silence or music or an inspired atmosphere? Does it involve being alone or collaborating with others?
Identify your flow activities, create the conditions that foster it, and carve out time for them. In the coming week, intentionally schedule a work block into your calendar for this activity. Notice how the experience makes you feel both during and after. Relaxed, centered, energized? What did you accomplish? How might regular time spent in flow at work enhance your experience, job satisfaction and contributions?
I love hearing from you! Please send me a line to share your experience with creating more flow this week at firstname.lastname@example.org.