State of Flow

CHRO Magazine - Column 6

November 20, 2020

Because one thing is certain, it is super nice to be in the flow. Things go effortless, your creative powers are unprecedented, it is a walk in the park. The stars seem in your favour, everything happens as you hoped they would, you don't know where things are going yet, but it feels good anyway. You are positive, confident and you know that everything will be fine.

It has always intrigued me - this flow concept. Especially this year in setting up my own company in these difficult times, but also when advising and coaching my clients.Do you get into flow by being clear, by setting a concrete goal, by your own decisiveness, your perseverance, keeping track or is it something that is bigger than yourself?  Is it only when you feel physically ok, when you are rested, relaxed and therefore better able to receive signals from your subconsciousness? Or is it pure coincidence and luck? Is mindset the most important ingredient of success? Or does the universe and the position of the stars play a bigger role than we think? I thought I already had most of these ingredients in my kitchen cupboard, but it still seemed as if I was lacking flow in the first few months. Why?

I decided to investigate it, my way. To start a successful business of my own, I had to reinvent myself, so why not my way of working? If I could crack my own code and get to master how to create flow, things would flow effortlessly not only for myself but also for our #Fantistics clients. How great and relaxed would that be?

The first experiment was one inspired by Eelco de Boer and it turned out to work for me like magic.

The premise is that you remain between being asleep and being awake as long as possible. In this twilight zone your mind can think of things that would otherwise remain below the surface. Your productivity is also unprecedented. In concrete terms, it means that you have to get out of bed and prevent everything that makes you wake up, so no shower / coffee / brushing your teeth / breakfast / lights on, etc. Just sleepwalk to your computer and start typing without any preconceived goal. I was skeptical and my bed was more inviting than my computer. Certainly at 6 o'clock in the morning. After all, I am behind the computer for days at an end, but the miracle indeed happened. 2 hours later I had 18 tabs open, worked out fantastic things on each tab and solved difficult problems. Why had no one told me you could get into Flow like that? This trick would have done wonders in my time as HR Director. Can You imagine working from home in your bathrobe, fully in flow (even without coffee), being 10 x more productive as when you were in the office and as a result doubling the impact you have on people and business. Brilliant!

Another experiment involved doing nothing, planning time to do nothing....just be. A kind of meditative state in which you can receive messages from your subconscious, quite difficult if you are always “on” or feel that you are being lived. Yet we all know, the best ideas come at the most unexpected moments. So how come we don't just schedule a minimum of 20 minutes every day - in between zoom calls - to just relax, do nothing, be quiet, think and listen to what unexpectedly comes to you ... And no you don't have to feel guilty about that towards your boss, or your colleagues or children. It is not a waste of time, but just oh so necessary time for yourself, if only because it is an absolute starting point for flow. Since that realisation my flow is called walking and lasts 1 hour a day. What's yours called?

"What about those stars?" I hear you ask. Well for me that is not a question anymore, I have known it influences things for a long time. Of course energy plays a role as well. Just like the fact that if you are not physically fit, overworked or too tired it also feels like you are swimming against the current. 

You can swim across the channel if you set your mind to it, but swimming at the right time under the right conditions is then highly recommended. Personally? I find swimming with the flow a lot more relaxed for myself, #Fantistics and the companies we support.

Powerful stuff “flow”. 

To flow or not to flow, the choice is yours… 🙂

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