The Power of Flow: What’s In It For You?

flow benefits, fligby, prof. csikszentmihalyi
Prof. Csikszentmihalyi in Budapest at Flow Café – July 2018

The benefits of Flow in our private life are inevitable. Why would it be important to promote flow within an organization as well? Here are the Flow Benefits in the working environment:

  • Flow focuses your attention on what’s important and positive. When you’re in a Flow state, you shut down self-consciousness and negative mind-wandering. You focus on the task at hand and find it intrinsically rewarding. You’re not thinking about perceived inadequacies, all the things on your To Do list, or how fast you can “just get over with this”.
  • Flow can lead to improved performance. Researchers have found that one of the major benefits of Flow is that it can enhance human performance in every domain of human work and creativity. With Flow you get better results, faster.
  • Flow can accelerate learning and skill development. Because Flow happens when we master a skill, individuals who continually seek new challenges in order to find Flow, grow in their abilities and their confidence.
  • Flow can double your productivity. Researches show that the average businessperson is in a Flow state for only 5 percent of the workday. If conditions were right to increase Flow experience to 15 percent, productivity would double.
  • Flow teaches you to rise to challenges. Life is messy, difficult, and complicated. Nothing ever comes easy, and timing is rarely on your side. If you find yourself waiting for the perfect time or circumstances to deal with challenges, it will never come. Flow teaches us how to get comfortable conquering challenges both big and small. Life can be scary and difficult, but risk and reward go hand in hand. The reward can be finding your perfect state of Flow.
  • Flow increases enjoyment and creativity. Flow doesn’t just heighten creativity at the moment. It actually trains us how to be more open to discovery and innovation. During Flow, concentration is so intense it changes our brains. When we’re in Flow, we get the benefit from natural pleasure-inducing and performance-enhancing chemicals. During Flow, we are far less critical, better able to connect ideas, and more courageous in imagining new possibilities. Flow is different from pleasure, in that Flow powers our ability to discover new ways of thinking, being, and doing and to grow in the process. We enjoy Flow experience so much not because it is easy, or even comfortable—but because it allows us to accomplish something worthwhile.
  • Flow is the ultimate eustress experience. Flow and stress are mutually exclusive states of being. Flow can be described as the ultimate eustress experience. Eustress, or positive cognitive response to stressors, helps us feel a sense of fulfillment, meaning, and hope. Eustress comes when we are fully present, focused on meeting a challenge, and feeling exhilarated. The experience almost exactly mirrors the definition of Flow. Flow is Peak Experience, the most challenging yet most joyous, happy, blissful moments of our lives.

Wanna be a better leader by realizing Flow benefits? Check out how to create Flow-promoting working environment!