If you or any of your employees even had an extremely productive time working where lots of challenging tasks got done and time seemed to fly by, you likely experienced a psychological state known as flow. Flow was first recognized and later named by the Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
In his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience He defines flow as a state of concentration or complete absorption with the task at hand. Flow is a self-consciousness is seemingly lost, one is complete focused in the moment, and time seems to disappear. Flow is what happens when an expert musician plays a complicated piece without even thinking about it, or when an Olympic athlete performs their sport in competition. Another way to put it is that flow is an ideal state where the tasks you’re doing are challenging enough to be engaging but easy enough so that you can "flow" through them.
Keeping employees on task in your business can sometimes be a challenge. Promoting more flow in the workplace starts with clarifying each employee’s goals and then, creating an action plan to obtain those goals. Also, putting systems in place to automate menial tasks, eliminate disruptions and distractions, and keep the employee focused can help promote flow. Overall, to increase the chances of flow occurring at your business, you need to enable each employee to have as many of the factors of flow be a part of their work day. The first four are complete concentration, clarity of goals, not focusing on time, and having the work provide a reward. Beyond those four, the employee should engage in work that is effortless to them, yet provide a balance between challenge and their skills. Finally, ensure the employee has a feeling of control over their tasks.
Flow is an ideal work state where productivity reaches new levels. Your business will likely grow and your employees will likely be happier the more your promote flow in the workplace. Perhaps you shouldn’t try to push flow on your employees, but rather slowly implement ideas and systems that will naturally allow employees to work in a flow state.