Ever since reading CAD Monkeys, Dinosaur Babies and T-Shaped People—that incredible book on the world of design and power of design thinking by Warren Berger—I often refer back to and share its clear description and helpful chart on the mental state of flow (some times referred to as being “in the zone”).
According to Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the condition of “flow” is characterized by being totally immersed and completely engaged in what you are doing, to the extent that time seems to stop. People who are in a state of flow “experience intense concentration and enjoyment, coupled with peak performance,” he says.
Now, I’ll also undoubtedly be sharing information from (as well as recommending) Steven Kolter’s book The Rise of Superman when talking with friends and colleagues about creativity and performance. This book is all about flow, primarily through the lens of extreme athletics, and if those topics interest you, you might enjoy the latest Accidental Creative podcast in which Steven Kolter and Todd Henry discuss research findings on the neurobiology of flow and the scientific picture we now have of this amazing phenomenon. Even while groggy after hours of traveling, I was enthralled by this interview and will definitely be listening to it again very soon.