Any fans of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced Me-hi Chiczen Me-hi) out there? He is the originator of FLOW, the secret to human engagement, contribution, fulfillment, and happiness. In the work environment this translates to a five-fold increase in people productivity.
It’s a simple concept really. People enter a state of flow when they can continually grow. It is a function of Challenge and Skill.
Does the work they are doing challenge them promoting personal growth? That they can handle the challenge given their current skill level? Stretch them enough to get into the FLOW CHANNEL, but not too much where they enter states of Worry and Anxiety. And when the work they are doing doesn’t challenge them enough, states of Apathy and Boredom set in.
Unfortunately, people often are not in the FLOW CHANNEL at work. Either the work they are assigned does not offer them opportunity for (comfortable) personal growth or they can’t focus on it as distractions in the work environment prevent them from doing so. Distractions such as interruptions, meetings (meeting madness), and attributes of the physical work environment such as noise, crowding, clutter, lighting, and so forth.
Did you know that interruptions consume 28% of peoples’ time at work? And that it takes 23 minutes to get back into a state of deep concentration resuming the knowledge work once interrupted? So, not only focus on work assignments but also the barriers in the work environment that prevent people from getting and staying in the FLOW CHANNEL.
It’s an elegant model and it’s fascinating!
I dare say that we are not mindful of these dynamics at work. Do you agree?
Listen to Mihaly describe it in this video, Flow, the secret to happiness. And if you really want to dig into this topic, he also wrote Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience, and Creativity – The Psychology of Discovery and Invention. I warn you that these are heady books!
Here are some more videos (and one article) describing FLOW that you likely will enjoy.
Have fun getting into the FLOW CHANNEL!
And help Others do the same!