Intersection of Flow, sports, and knowledge work

Authors

How to Get into Your Zone – James Allworth – Harvard Business Review | LinkedIn.

I would agree with most of what James Allworth had to say, especially when it comes to physical challenges and performance. There is, I would imagine, some carryover to the realm of the knowledge worker’s day; but I think there, in particular, it’s about being challenged enough (not too boring) yet not too much (have not yet acquired the skills or experience to accomplish the task).

Take “Draw Something” – one of the newer phenom apps for smart phones and tablets. Certainly for me and those with whom I play, there is a mini-flow state while playing. Even a crummy artist (I’m referring to myself, here) can usually do a decent job in communicating the concept word to the other player – it’s challenging enough; but you can usually select one of the words that you can handle. Guessing the other player’s drawing – concentrating, concentrating, bewildered, then with a rush of recognition – is it’s own reward. I’m actually thinking about incorporating this type of animation into my training presentations, so learners focus on guessing the concept being communicated (in selected dashes throughout the “class”) as a change-up activity and something to engage the larger brain.

In fact, I think that is where there is some *real* brain chemistry magic going on – during Flow (thank you, Mihaly and Isabella!), much more of the brain (if not most of it) is engaged. Perhaps that is partially why Allworth’s music and caffeine work so well. Just the right amount of cortisol, I suppose…

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