Welcome to Week 50 of the Authenticity@Work Leadership Tool-kit! My intention for this series is to share a quick tool each week to help you lead with more authenticity, adaptability and inspiration so we can together create workplaces where we bring the best of ourselves and inspire others. So grab a journal and an accountability partner to make these practices even more powerful for you!
In last week’s post we talked about bringing your dream to work. What did bringing your dream to work open up for you?
Have you ever found yourself so devoted to an activity that you lose track of time—where there is just the joy of being in the moment? Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (yes, I’ve given up trying to pronounce his name correctly, so I fondly refer to him as MC!) has a term for this quality. It’s called “flow”—an intense focus, a sense of clarity where you forget yourself and feel like you’re part of something larger. Flow is an optimal state of consciousness where we feel and perform our best.
MC described flow as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”
Here’s the surprising fact: MC’s studies show that flow-producing situations happen three times as often when people are working versus in their leisure time.
This Week’s Tool:
How do you find what brings you flow? Here are some questions to ask yourself.
- During which activities do I lose track of time?
- When am I my most inspired self?
- How do I find ways to engage in more of these activities in my work context?
For example for me, when I am writing, I am often in flow. I can lose track of time. The same often happens when I am in my executive coaching sessions with clients. I feel incredibly “in the moment” and grateful for the moment. When I am doing speaking engagements, I find that working spontaneously with audience members has that same effect of time expanding and me being fully present to its gifts.
You can journal about these or share these with a friend or accountability partner.