As I start my day, I have this routine I do. I review all the loose threads that I have in my mind, and write them down (a mindmap, usually). After I write them down I quickly evaluate what are the most important goals for the day. Then I write those goals on a post-it that I carry with me all day.
This piece of paper is my ticket to "flow".
This piece of paper is my ticket to "flow". Flow, is a semi-mythical state of mind that allows us to do our best work and achieve our goals in a state that some would call "happiness". I call this a "semi-mythical state of mind", because in today's fast-paced, interruption rich world that state is very elusive. Actually, according to some it is impossible to reach unless we have large chunks of uninterrupted time. I have a different experience.
I don't worry my brain with decisions on what to do during the day, I do that in the morning when I plan my day.
My secret to "flow" is not that I get a lot of uninterrupted time. That is impossible for me. The secret to "flow" in my line of work is that I have externalized the order and type of work that I need to do for that day. I don't worry my brain with decisions on what to do during the day, I do that in the morning when I plan my day. Once I have externalized the list of objectives to achieve, my brain can focus on how to achieve those goals and complete those tasks. Simple and effective - for me.
After that, my whole day is in the "flow". No matter how many interruptions I get (meetings, managers, colleagues, etc.), I always know what to do next. That allows me to be in the flow for the whole day, even when I'm interrupted.
How about you? How do you ensure that you achieve "flow" every day at work?
Photo credit: Dustin Diaz @ Flickr