Focus so deep you forget to eat lunch
This is often referred to as flow state. You just get lost in what you’re doing.
I love when this happens. Well, not the forgetting lunch part 😜 but it happens to me most often when I’m animating.
Flow state directs me to what I really enjoy doing. It points me in the direction of my curiosity. Following your curiosity can lead you to interesting and unexpected places. This is where new ideas can form. I like this kind of place.
If flow state could be harnessed intentionally, you could use it get a lot of important stuff done.
Flow state is not easy to get into on purpose. It helps to have some guidance.
Here are some things to practice that can lead you into your own flow state.
These are things that have helped me get into a state of deep focus. Please understand that they will not automatically get you there, but what I have found is that by doing these four things, I get into a flow state more often than if I just hope it happens by chance.
1. Cut off all distractions
- No internet if possible
- Find an isolated place to work (or put your headphones on - a nice social queue that you don’t want to be bothered)
2. Cut off all POSSIBILITIES for distraction
- Do Not Disturb mode on your phone and computer
- If you’re at home and family members are around, let them know they can only interrupt for emergencies
3. Focus for 90 minutes
- One task for 90 minutes… no social, no checking email, no switching tasks
- If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the task at hand
4. Lean into the discomfort
- It will be uncomfortable at first - it was for me!
- Acknowledge that it is not comfortable, but stay there - this is stretching your physical and mental capacity to sit (or stand) still or put all of your attention to a single task
Flow state will do wonders for skill building, task completion, and reaching goals… even if it doesn’t feel effortless.
You could go on scattering your focus from an animation to Twitter, to email, back to Twitter, oh I wonder if anyone sent me a direct message on Instagram. I’m thirsty. I should animate… but first, Vimeo. WHAT? How did 5pm come so soon!
Get your mind focused on the task at hand. Practice being aware of what you’re doing. Train yourself to be not easily distracted. Acknowledge when this isn't easy, but move through the discomfort to expand yourself into a focused person.