Got It In One
Did you ever see a cartoon or comic strip that either captured your feelings exactly or illustrated something that you had felt but never really understood? This is one of the reasons for having cartoonists (and poets and jesters), who often see or capture things that others have failed to observe. I have seen two of these in my life.
Another one was a Dilbert cartoon back in January about getting back into “the flow” after an interruption. Have you ever experienced a brief interruption that totally ruined your concentration? Even someone asking you whether you wanted a cup of tea or coffee or whether you were warm enough? I couldn’t understand why it always took me so long to get back into working after such a brief interruption but the Dilbert cartoon explains it perfectly. You can see that cartoon here: http://dilbert.com/strip/2017-01-05 Go and check it out then come back to read the rest.
For some people, whether exercising, computer programming or doing other work, they get into what they call the “flow zone” of optimal experience, where progress or exercise seems easy and the work just seems to flow and all the pieces just come together. It is a state of deep concentration and effortless, where what seems like 10 minutes to you may actually have been two hours but it takes time, maybe 15 minutes, to reach that state and interruptions can throw you right out of it, needing another 15 minutes to get back in and then another after another interruption.
It’s often easier to get into a state of flow after you have looked over your project, thought about it and made some decisions on it, such as how to go about it, which exercise program to follow, which report to write or which subject to study.
While being in a state of flow or “in the zone” puts you into deep concentration mode, this is NOT the same as being in a reverie or daydream. That is not productive though it may be very pleasant. After all, the old saying is true, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”. Dreams without action are just wishful thinking. Being in the zone or the flow, means having an optimal experience as it gets things done and you are taking action and making progress, often much faster than you thought possible because you are working smarter.
What Action Are YOU Taking?
Have you ever experienced being “in the zone” where your progress just flowed? How did you get there? Can you do it again? Are you able to get back into it after an interruption? If not, what action could you take to use this work smarter tool?