The Flow – how to focus and work consistently for hours on end

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience was Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a Hungarian-American psychologist, where he theorized the concept of flow – a state of mind conducive to an acute focus on productivity.

Focus on studying and working

A theory by a psychologist “The concept of flow” with 4 steps

1. define a daily goal at the micro level (the daily goal) and at the macro level (what’s the overall goal) to be accomplished. Without this, you’ll be easily distracted and will be lost in what needs to complete to reach your goal. To help you reach this, assess what is reachable, and determine goals (“Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,” 1990).

2. The goal and task need to be challenging enough. If the challenge is really low and your skills are really high, then you’ll be bored. And if the challenges are too high and your skills are too low, then you’ll be too anxious which may hinder you to complete tasks. A person enters into flow when the task is challenging enough for the skill set you have. And then you enter into this positive feedback loop, when the challenge increases then so does your skill increase, and when your skills increase then you need a higher challenge. And because you get a higher challenge, your skills increase and this is exactly what flow is.

3. Distraction kills flow. Get rid of your phone for that time of work, study, etc.

4. Inducing flow is not an easy task. You have to build into the state of flow. When you do it daily, it becomes easier to induce.


Flow: the psychology of optimal experience. (1990). Choice Reviews Online, 28(01), 28–0597.

Author: Luis Fernandez

Luis Fernandez is a businessperson in the hotel and software industry. When not glued to a screen, he listens attentively to his 4 years old's imagination.

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