Flow into Productivity…

Now when I (Joe) say ‘find your flow’ I do not mean your best dance moves at the students union (although that could be the way you achieve yours)… but instead the Psychological concept of ‘Flow.’

Flow is said to be the state of being so absorbed in an activity that all other concerns fall away and you maximise the moment that you are in (so yes dancing at the students union could well achieve this!).

However, we should be aiming to achieve this state as often as possible in our day to day and academic lives, because in doing so we are going to live a life of greater success and fulfilment.

I experience the flow state with writing where I can lose hours of the day, without even realizing. The concept of time just seems to diminish. It is a joyous experience and one that is available to everybody…including students.

Ask Yourself…

Is there any activity that does this for you? – If so, you should do more of it! Whether this is a hobby in your life or a certain area of your study, you must start prioritizing time to do this more.

When it comes to study, it also makes sense to try and do something which helps us achieve our ‘flow state’ more often. Some of the key ways to achieve your flow state are…

  • Choose work you love.
  • Choose a task that is important to you.
  • Make sure the task is challenging to you (but not too much that is overwhelms you)
  • Find a time and space that helps you to get into this state (The local watering hole probably isn’t going to be this place…).
  • Do your best to remove any distractions.
  • Develop your focus using productivity techniques (some of these techniques can be found in our Semester Productivity Handbook here).
  • Make sure you are enjoying what you are doing.

Just as important to acknowledge…things to avoid that will limit your flow to productivity are…

  • Doing academic work that is uninteresting or boring to you.
  • Taking part in thing that don’t align with your values (subscribe to our blog for an upcoming article on how you can define your true values).
  • Trying to complete assignments in busy and distracting environments.
  • Not beginning with a plan in mind of how long you will study for and specifically what you plan to study.

The flow state is worlds apart from some of my previous days studying at university or working in an office, whereby, I would spend copious amounts of time staring at the clock, praying for it to hit 5 o clock so I could check out. It was like watching paint dry…extremely slow drying paint!

This is the reason why we (Joe and Nathan) believe so strongly in Semester helping you to find something you care about because the inverse of that is soul destroying. Semester is all about finding success & fulfilment within your studies…not success or fulfilment. They go hand in hand and the fulfilment side is the area which will help you to reach flow and ultimately lead you to success much faster.


In the book the ‘168 hours’ by Laura Vanderkam she explains that if you don’t currently experience flow at work (or in your studies in your instance), you should spend some time reflecting on whether you experience it at other times.

What are you doing in those moments? Can you think of a job or a course that would involve similar activities?

She claims a job that incorporates these will draw on your core competencies, which means you can start transforming your work life from a means of solely making money into an experience you love.

Bonus Tip…

“An experience you love”, referenced above essentially translates into your purpose. When identifying these core competencies that you have and what areas that you truly love in your personal lives as well as your studies…take a note. In the next few weeks we will introduce you to the method of “Ikigai” which is closely linked to the flow state but helps you to understand what the core of your purpose is and how you can harness this to create incredible success in your future studies.

Next time you find yourself staring at the clock or wishing your time away, start asking yourself better questions and mapping your way out! The Power of Questions can be truly transformational on your studies and achieving your individual flow state…

In summary when it comes to life in general…do more of what you love and you will soon find yourself in a state of flow much more frequently.

Find your flow and Flow into Productivity.


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