Having just returned from a weeks holiday I am always amazed how easily I can forget about work and home. It only happens though when I become totally immersed in what I’m doing. This holiday was a new experience – camping in spain with my sister and her young children; very different from how we normally holiday (usually child free). Other times I have felt like this “hyper-concentration” include writing training materials for a new project and the first time I skiied. Your whole being is involved and you’re using your skills to the utmost; even if it was amusing a 4 year old & a 7 year old.
This, according to Amercian Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is your State of Flow – when you are so totally absorbed in what you are doing you are oblivious to external pressures. You are able to focue all your efforts and abilities on the task in hand and are motivated enough to resist competing distractions. This state can be described as “relaxed alertness” and is the time when we are most likely to be our most creative.
A common frustration for managers is that they feel they are not entitled to this time; rather they should be at the disposal of everyone else.
When did you last experience “hyper-concentration”? How did affect your creativity? How can you practically create these opportunities for yourself and your team in the work environment?