Your inner voice chatters at you all day long. Right now, it is hovering over you. “You are not checking off enough tasks on your to-do list. There is only 1 hour left in your workday and you are behind.”
Panic sets in and you launch into hyper-drive. You must complete the day’s tasks, no matter how long it takes. The mantra “work harder, work harder” fills your thoughts.
Instead of working harder you feel anxious, overwhelmed and stressed. You fall out of the flow state. Your productivity plummets. You are out of ideas. You think if you work harder and longer you will check all the tasks off the list.
Working harder is not the answer.
What is the flow state?
When you are in the flow state you are alert and fully engaged. It is an energized and happy state where you are immersed in your project or actions.
You are without self-consciousness, doubt or judgment. When you are in the flow state you are confident, creative and tasks fall together with ease.
Flow is a positive and uplifting state of being.
Unlike hyper-drive, being in the flow has no anxiety, stress, overwhelm or other negative emotions associated with it. Negative emotions block your ability to get into and stay in the flow state.
Your project was moving forward with ease, you were in the flow. Then you started to worry about finishing the list. You immediately left the flow and popped into stress.
The mantra “work harder, work harder” kicked in and you need an intervention to stop that negative thinking.
How Are You Showing Up?
It starts with knowing how you show up. What do you bring to your to-do list? Are you excited, positive, and confident? Or do you complain, dread, and worry?
You take who you are (your mindset, beliefs, experience, etc.) into every situation, creative endeavor and relationship.
Who are you at the moment? You can only be as good as you are at the moment whether you are happy, confident, or stressed.
You have a personal energy field within you and around you that impact your thoughts, actions and flow. This energy field is influenced by your thoughts, feelings, and level of self-care.
How To Get back Into The Flow State?
Your project was moving forward with ease, you were in the flow. Then you started to worry about finishing the list. You immediately left the flow and popped into stress. The mantra “work harder, work harder” kicked in and you need an intervention to stop that negative thinking.
Scientific studies show that you are more productive and efficient when you take breaks from your “to do” list. Research reveals you get more done when you take a 5-minute break every twenty minutes. The break gives your brain the time it needs to refresh and replenish before continuing to work. It helps create a state of flow.
What can you do during that 5-minute break that will replenish you, boost your personal power and move you back into the flow?
A Flow Alignment Technique
When I fall out of the flow state or take my 5-minute break here is one flow alignment technique I use:
I move away from my desk and do this simple breathing flow alignment technique.
- What are your feelings or emotions?
- Is your mind racing or is it calm?
- Scan your body for places that are tight or hurt. Make a mental not of it.
- Notice your breathing. Is it mostly in your chest or in your belly?
Here Are The Steps For One Flow Alignment Technique
Step #1 – Close your eyes and take a slow deep breath.
Step #2 – Breathe a slow deep breath again. This time imagine your body expanding up through your head and down through your tailbone
Step #3 – Breathe a slow deep breath in again and imagine your body expanding from side to side. Imagine your ribs lead the way.
Step #4 – Breathe in again and imagine your body expanding from front to back
Step #5 – Put it all together by breathing in and imagine your body is a balloon filling up with air in all directions
Step #6 – Repeat these steps at least 3 to 9 times and you will feel refreshed and energized.
Step #7 – Revisit the noticing process you did before you began the breathing. Do you notice a shift and one or more areas?
This is a quick technique that can be used several times a day to replenish you and reset your personal energy field to a state of flow. You don’t have to worry about that to-do list anymore because you have a flow alignment technique.
You may also want to read this article Personal Power Where Do You Stand?
Nancy Dadami is an Intentional Flow Strategist, Energy Reader, and Mentor. She teaches smart, strong, successful Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers to understand “the flow” and find peace of mind in their life & business.