Sometimes, things just click. Ideas spark. Words flow with seeming effortless ease. I can start to write and without even realizing it, I’ve written a few thousand words. I might look at the page (or the screen) and wonder,
where did this come from?
Sometime I have no recollection of writing it.
This is the elusive flow-state.
It might be exciting, and perhaps I’d experience it more, if I didn’t resist it when it happens.
Why would I resist the much sought-after flow states?
Perhaps because I don’t always realize that’s what it is in the moment when it’s happening.
It rarely looks the way I thought it would look. More often it looks like a form of procrastination. I’m writing while sitting on the floor of the bedroom, or leaning against the kitchen counter, or sitting in the car in a parking lot before running into the grocery store.
These are not places where productive work happens.
Except they are. Or they can be.
Recently I had an insight that perhaps the reason so many people find flow states to be so elusive is that we are expecting them to look and feel a certain way.
If you’re trained to believe that productivity looks a certain way — sitting “properly” at a desk, no fidgeting or moving around, laser focused on the task at hand — you’ll be chasing that version of what you think it should look like.
And you might be simultaneously resisting your actual process.
How often are you in a flow state but labeling it as unproductive, because it doesn’t look like what you think it should look like?
When we stop chasing what we think it should be, we might discover that we’re already there.