For this word, the most important is the Other useful definitions by Creative, and Game-Changing Thinkers down below
Origin of the word:
mid-15c., "action of flowing," from flow (v.). Meaning "amount that flows" is from 1807. Sense of "any strong, progressive movement comparable to the flow of a river" is from 1640s. Flow chart attested from 1920 (flow-sheet in same sense from 1912). To go with the flow is by 1977, apparently originally in skiing jargon.
Go with the flow, enjoy the forces, let ankles, knees, hips and waist move subtly to soak up potential disturbances of acceleration and deceleration. ["Ski" magazine, November 1980]
noun: flow; plural noun: flows
- the action or fact of moving along in a steady, continuous stream
- a steady, continuous stream or supply of something.
Other useful definitions by Creative, and Game-Changing Thinkers:
In positive psychology, a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by the complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting transformation in one's sense of time.
FLOW (click here so see the graph)
Named by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in 1975, the concept has been widely referred to across a variety of fields (and is particularly well recognized in occupational therapy), though the concept has been claimed to have existed for thousands of years under other names.
The flow state shares many characteristics with hyperfocus. However, hyperfocus is not always described in a positive light. Some examples include spending "too much" time playing video games or watching television and getting side-tracked and pleasurably absorbed by one aspect of an assignment or task to the detriment of the overall assignment. In some cases, hyperfocus can "capture" a person, perhaps causing them to appear unfocused or to start several projects, but complete few. Other related concepts are trance, hypnosis, hypomania and mindfulness.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a Hungarian-American psychologist. He recognized and named the psychological concept of flow, a highly focused mental state conducive to productivity.
10 Components of Flow
How do you know when you're experiencing flow? Csíkszentmihályi identified 10 experiences that go with the state of being in flow:
- Having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve.
- Being able to concentrate for a sustained period of time.
- Losing the feeling of consciousness of one's self.
- Finding that time passes quickly.
- Getting direct and immediate feedback.
- Experiencing a balance between your ability levels, and the challenge.
- Having a sense of personal control over the situation.
- Feeling that the activity is intrinsically rewarding.
- Lacking awareness of bodily needs.
- Being completely absorbed in the activity itself.
Csíkszentmihályi also identified three things that must be present if you want to enter a state of flow:
- Goals – Goals add motivation and structure to what you're doing. Whether you're learning a new piece of music or creating a presentation, you must be working towards a goal to experience flow.
- Balance – There must be a good balance between your perceived skill and the perceived challenge of the task. If one of these weighs more heavily than the other, flow probably won't occur.
- Feedback – You must have clear, immediate feedback so that you can make changes and improve your performance. This can be feedback from other people or the awareness that you're making progress with the task.
Using the Flow Model
To improve your chances of experiencing flow, try the following:
- Set goals – Goal setting is important in experiencing flow. Learning to set effective goals can help you achieve the focus you need.
- Improve your concentration – Many things may distract you from your work, and achieving flow is more difficult when your focus is interrupted. Use strategies to improve your concentration so that you're more productive and focused during the day.
- Build self-confidence – If you don't have confidence in your skills, tasks may seem much harder than they actually are. Our article Building Self-Confidence will show you how to develop yourself for success.
- Get feedback – Remember, feedback is an important requirement for flow. Make sure that appropriate technical feedback systems are in place, and learn how to give and receive feedback so that you can help yourself – and others – to improve.
- Make your work more challenging – Consider strategies such as job crafting, and explore ways of creating more job satisfaction
Here's a link to the book.