Unlocking the full potential of your employees comes down to one thing: their mental toughness.
A person’s ability to harness the power of their mind is the driving force behind higher levels of engagement, productivity, and success. When trained and developed, the mind can reach complete concentration and fulfillment –– a psychological state referred to as flow.
To help your employees achieve a flow state when it comes to their work, you must first understand the characteristics of this mental state. Then, you can support them with strategies that promote this level of focus and reap its countless benefits in your workplace.
Coined by Hungarian-American psychologist Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the concept of flow state describes the harmony between the body and mind when focused on a given task. When a person achieves flow state, not only are they fully concentrated in the present moment, but they are also enjoying the task at hand –– so much so that all distractions disappear.
According to research, for people to achieve this feeling of flow, their skill set must be capable of the task at hand. To visualize this concept, the flow model was created. This model shows the relationship between a person’s skills and the difficulty of the task.
If a person does not have the necessary skills and ability to overcome the obstacle (i.e. complete the task), it will lead to heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and apathy, which can all lead to workplace burnout. On the other hand, when skill and ability level are equal, a person will experience flow –– creating a higher sense of satisfaction and allowing them to work freely, without stress or feeling overwhelmed.
Imagine the opportunities your business will reap if employees have the potential to harness the power of total concentration on a regular basis. Inherently, flow leads to higher levels of employee engagement, among other benefits. A high level of engagement creates a snowball effect that results in improved productivity, performance, and efficiency, thus impacting your overall bottom line.
To create a positive workplace that fosters growth on all levels, consider incorporating these approaches in your organization to aid your employees.
Continued educational workshops are a great way to keep your employees informed on the latest industry trends and encourage their personal development. During these training sessions, you can provide new techniques that will improve their soft skills and mental health –– both of which impact their performance at work.
Workplace culture can make or break your company. It lays the foundation for how your employees behave, interact with one another, and even showcase your company outside of the office. When cultivating a positive workplace culture, be sure to emphasize concentration and focus on the daily operations of your organization.
To accomplish this, leaders should strategically assign tasks according to skill sets, making sure they are reasonable. Also, clear goals and expectations should be established for teams and the organization as a whole. Moreover, regularly providing constructive feedback can keep your employees motivated as they continue to grow in their roles.
Give your employees the resources they need to succeed. Be sure to provide them with access to time management tools, project management software, and apps that are designed to support their mental wellness. For example, meditation apps can help your employees disconnect and eliminate distractions. Not only will these tools streamline your internal processes and improve efficiency, but they will also make the process of incorporating the above strategies to achieve flow much easier.
Taking time to recharge and energize your body and mind is necessary to maintain high levels of performance and efficiency in all areas of your life. Encourage your teams to take breaks and rest when they feel like their concentration is slipping. It can be just what they need to recharge, sparking further creativity and passion in their job.
To help your employees enter a state of flow habitually, consider sharing these six tips with your leadership teams.
We live in a world full of distractions, constantly pulling us from one direction to the next. This makes it difficult to reach a level of total concentration for more than a short period of time. In the workplace, these distractions can lead to missed deadlines, unnecessary mistakes, and stunted career growth –– all detrimental to the success of the organization.
Before you begin to work, eliminate both internal and external distractions that may be present. For example, journaling and meditation can help organize your thoughts and clear your mind of internal distractions. External triggers, such as notifications on your phone or a loud environment will also limit your ability to reach flow state. Find a quiet place to work and silence any distractions that may take your attention away from your current task.
Identifying what you want to accomplish in a set amount of time will help you stay focused and beat procrastination. By setting challenging yet attainable goals, it is easier to stay organized and on track to complete a task promptly.
One tactic to consider is The Pomodoro Technique, a simple time management method that breaks down larger projects into digestible sections. To begin, choose the task you will be working on and set a timer for 25 minutes. Then work on that task until the timer goes off. Once the time is up, give yourself a five-minute break before you move on to the next 25-minute interval. After four intervals, you can give yourself a longer break. This system will keep you focused as you effectively finish your tasks.
Not all people function their best at the same time –– some are early birds who are most effective in the mornings, while others work best at night. Take some time to understand your biological peak time, or what time of day you are most productive. Knowing this timeframe will make it easier to enter flow during that particular period. Once you have identified when you perform at your peak, organize your workload around that time of day –– working on the most challenging tasks during your peak time.
Habits and rituals are necessary for the mind to respond to challenges proactively. When carried out consistently, they have the power to reduce performance anxiety, manage stress, and regulate emotions –– all factors that interfere with one’s ability to concentrate.
As you begin to create rituals into your life, be sure to reflect on what works best for you. In order to be effective, the rituals you incorporate in your life need to be meaningful. Over time, as you repeat these rituals, they will begin to act as triggers that alert your mind about what is about to happen. Because of this, beginning your morning with a ritual can set you up for success as you take on the day and help you cultivate flow state.
Oftentimes, the most challenging task is the one that gets avoided. Although you may be tempted to continue to wait to accomplish the job, choose to work on it first. This will create a challenge that will require you to focus and achieve flow state.
As with anything in life, maintaining a high level of focus requires hard work and consistency. In the beginning, you may achieve flow for a short period of time. Yet, as you continue to apply these strategies in your daily life, you will soon notice you can maintain a higher level of concentration and enthusiasm for the task at hand.
Attracting the right people for your organization is an essential part of growing your business. When you work with a premier executive search firm such as Kinsley, you are investing in leadership that will foster growth and success across all areas of your organization.
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