Ever found yourself in an activity and completely consumed by it? A state in that nothing distracts you. A time where you are so involved with what you are doing that there’s a absolute level of concentration.
That state where you are essentially one with the task at hand is called a state of flow. The flow is where everything just moves as it should, you face a challenge and overcome it. You look for a solution and find it. It’s a state in which emotions don’t cloud your judgement or direct you elsewhere. The state of flow is a state where we accomplish things. A point where we are neither sad or happy, but simply flowing.
I love this state where I’m focused on one thing and can see it through to the end.
Rather than be riddled by distractions, I need to proceed through some steps before I can get into it. That’s where the challenge rises but the result is worth it.
Prepare to Concentrate
The first obstacle to overcome are the potential internal or external (most likely both) distractions. You need to minimise these as much as possible by finding a place where you can be distraction free. Tell people not to disturb you during this time and try to find somewhere as quiet as possible. Remove other distractions such as your phone (unless you need it for your task) and little things that make your mind wander. For example, I place my camera gear, books, etc all behind me instead of in my line of sight.
Once you’ve set your location and cleared your area as much as you can, set up ready to tackle your task.
The Wandering Mind
Your mind will wander away from your task. People will make noises, or feel like something is an emergency that they need to tell you right now. This is okay. It’s almost an expectation. Being prepared for it to happen can help to not disrupt your flow. The thing to remember is acknowledge and bring back.
When a thought not related to the topic at hand pops into your mind, don’t try to suppress it or ignore it. Acknowledge it. Acknowledge it then bring yourself back into focus. By showing your brain that you know it’s there, you can let it go for when it is needed another time. Tell yourself, I know you are there, I know I will need to deal with you, but for now, I need to concentrate on this.
When you try and ignore a thought, that thought will keep coming up until you’ve dealt with it. In the same manner, if someone comes in to disturb you, acknowledge them, in fact welcome their presence, but explain that you can’t deal with them right now fully but will do when you are free, when you have completed your task at hand.
Very few things are actually an emergency that need to be dealt with right away. The feeling that everything needs to be done right away is what causes nothing to be done properly. Take your time, progress through things one at a time, acknowledge that others things need to be done, but bring yourself back into the centre of needed focus.
Taken From Meditation
There are many types of meditation but the one which I have found most useful, for this particular topic, is where you concentrate on your breathing. This practice will enable you to carry it out into world and manage outside influences better.
Focus on Breathing
Find somewhere quiet (perhaps wake up earlier than everyone else), close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Not controlling your breathing but just noticing how you are breathing.
Scan The Body
After you have noticed how you are breathing, move to noticing how your body is feeling, scanning from top to bottom. Then bring yourself back to focused on breathing.
Acknowledge and Let Go
As thoughts enter your mind at the start, practise acknowledging and refocusing on your breath and body.
Focus Your Thoughts
You can then move from your breathing onto a topic you wish to tackle, how you want to complete it or perhaps re-frame it to a more positive outlook.
Again, as your mind wanders, acknowledge what outside thoughts come, and then let them go for a later time.
This method takes practise to master, and should be done at least once daily for real change to happen. You’ll find yourself becoming calmer and more focused throughout the day. You’ll likely begin to appreciate each moment more as you can give your full attention to tasks.