Mindfulness in the Workplace
by Anna Fae Brummett
Jun 9, 2022
What is “flow state?” And what does it have to do with work and achieving your goals?
Flow state can be defined as: “An altered state of consciousness in which the mind functions at its peak, time may seem distorted, and a sense of happiness prevails. In such a state the individual feels truly alive and fully attentive to what is being done. This state is distinguished from strained attention, in which the person forces himself to perform a task in which he has little interest.”
Popularized by positive psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura, flow state describes a feeling where, under the right conditions, you become fully immersed in whatever you are doing.
There is a chance you’ve already experienced flow state at some point in your life! It’s that unparalleled feeling of fluidity between your mind and body as action and awareness sync to create effortless momentum. Some people describe this feeling as being “in the zone”
Whether you are an extreme athlete looking to get in the zone before a competition, a manager preparing to speak to a crowd of people or just an average joe trying to complete a long list of daunting tasks, tapping into your flow state will change the way you get things done!
Want to tap in? Let’s find your flow.
Do something you love!
This gives you an opportunity to put yourself in your highest frequency. Doing what you love increases your vibration, allowing you to reach your most magnetic peak and attract the exact energy you want to elicit / radiate. Maybe this is writing, or snuggling up with your book and a cup of coffee. Maybe it's a sunrise walk with your dog or polar plunge in the ocean. Whatever it is, it sparks a whole lot of joy in your heart.
The goal here: How can you harness the energy you feel when you do something you love and implement it into the action of doing something you’re learning to love? Change the narrative!
Create a Ritual
Do you have a morning ritual? Evening routine? Both? Let’s break down the difference between a habit and a ritual or routine.
Habit: something you can start and stop.
Ritual/Routine: something as common as brushing your teeth. You’d never leave the house without doing it, it’s part of your daily routine!
Rituals help us get in flow in order to reach our flow state. Rituals are made up of actions that elevate your energy and enhance your creativity throughout the day.
Habits are for instant gratification. Rituals are aligned action steps for achieving your goals.
Rituals/routines are also a beautiful way to create boundaries for yourself personally, physically, mentally, financially and spiritually.
If you say “I’m going to workout around 10” that’s different than having a scheduled 10am workout event in your calendar every Tuesday to remind you.
The difference? The first option lacks boundaries, it’s a loose commitment. It would be much easier to write it off and do something else. Whereas the second option has commitment written all over it. It’s a boundary you’ve created to preserve + progress your energy. This activity has a consistent space on your calendar because you know it gives you more energy and boosts creativity - healthy habits become stellar routines that teach you how to develop boundaries. So next time your friend asks you to blow off your workout for something silly, remember: routines are routines because they help you connect with your highest self and fuel more mindfulness throughout your day. Don’t let that go so easily!
Identify Peak Creative and Productive Times
When does your mind most naturally function at full speed? For some, mornings are full of energy and movement. For others, the evenings are when a burst of creative energy comes through. Similarly, some of us like to call prospects first thing in the morning whereas others may just want to put their head down and execute tasks in the morning.
Part of being able to tap into your flow state is knowing yourself and the actions that allow you to access that state a little bit easier. We are diverse human beings! We have diverse schedules and inner-workings that all account for how our flow state functions.
According to Csikszentmihalyi, “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… the best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” To that end, engagement and concentration are key in achieving flow state.
Split test your own body + mind. Execute the same tasks in the morning vs. evening and see what results prevail!
Be Mindful and Get in the Zone
Choose your most important task. Prioritize it. Eliminate distractions and get in the zone!
Achieving flow state is best accomplished while focusing on one major task that requires a significant portion of brain power. Eliminate distractions in order to create an environment that is best suited to you and your energy. This is YOUR flow state. Only you can tap in and access it.
Flow State and Mindfulness in the Workplace
Sooo what does flow state have to do with being mindful in the workplace? By definition, mindfulness is the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever you’re doing in the moment — free from distractions or judgment, and aware of thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.
By tapping into flow state, you’re being mindful of yourself and the state that your mind and body are functioning in. Flow state allows us to truly connect with ourselves and see our strengths and weaknesses in a different light, giving us a new perspective into how we can better show up for ourselves, our work, our clients, etc.
Being Mindful can show up in a few different ways:
- You slept bad or stayed up late working. Take an extra hour or two to yourself in the morning to fill up your cup first, knowing that rushing into work today would result in a low vibrational work day.
- Posture checks + stretching breaks! Be mindful of your body + mind and respect the signs of needing to take a break.
- Listen to yourself. If the 3pm or 4pm slump hits, ask yourself “how can I have the best rest of my day? So that I am back to just absolutely crushing it tomorrow? Don’t run on empty!
- Pause. Take a deep breath!
“High performers aren’t high performers because they never have bad days, they are high performers because of what they do with them”
This process also allows us to see what we are forcing and where we are flowing. Be curious about the things that you’re forcing. This means a part of you isn’t available!
Our work is an extension of our being. The way you treat yourself is the way you treat your work and the world around you.
Looking for more tips and tricks to increase the presence of mindfulness in your workplace? We have a 10-week program that provides aligned action steps to do just that. Reach out!