Finding your flow: The key to making long-term motivation effortless

Understanding Flow

Flow, a term coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, describes a state of complete immersion and focus in an activity. It is that feeling of being "in the zone" where you are so absorbed in what you're doing that time seems to fly by. During flow, there's a good match between your skill level and the challenges of the task, leading to a sense of deep focus. You experience a profound connection with the activity. Your performance becomes effortless.

The Importance of Flow for Motivation

Flow experiences are pleasant. When you're in flow, the activity itself becomes the reward. The sense of engagement and delight become sources of motivation that drive you to seek out more. On the other hand, activities that do not put you in the flow state can feel frustrating or tedious. They require a lot of effort to do. Thus, they tend to deplete your motivation. To have sustained motivation, you need to craft your activities around activities that give you flow.

Crafting Your Activities Around Flow

One of the determining factors of flow is the difficulty of the task. Activities that are too easy can lead to boredom. On the other hand, those that are too difficult can result in anxiety. Lack of flow usually means your tasks are too easy or difficult. Your environment is also crucial to accessing the flow state more frequently. Distractions can quickly bring you out of the flow state. Therefore, you can more readily access flow by carving out a fixed time to work in a quiet space where you won't be disturbed. Finally, a mindset oriented toward mastery can also enhance flow. You can approach activities with the aim of improving rather than solely caring about the result. Doing this will let you embrace your challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.


Sustained motivation requires you to access the state of flow frequently. By doing activities with the right difficulty, creating conducive environments, and adopting a mindset toward mastery, you can unlock the remarkable benefits of flow.

Do you find yourself regularly entering the flow state?