How to Get into a Flow State of Productivity

In Chapter 6 of 17 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, leadership philosopher Bijoy Goswami answers "When Do You Find Yourself Entering a Flow State of Productivity?"  He shares how flow only comes after an immersion process.  Once the immersion is under way, flow occurs and he is able to find a zone of productivity. 

Bijoy Goswami is a writer, teacher, and community leader based in Austin, Texas.  He develops learning models, including MRE, youPlusU, and Bootstrap, to help others live more meaningfully.  Previously, he co-founded Aviri Software after working at Trilogy Software.  Goswami graduated from Stanford University, where he studied Computer Science, Economics, and History. 


Erik Michielsen:  When do you find yourself entering a flow state of productivity?

Bijoy Goswami:  I think it’s a matter of taking enough time to do a task long enough that you get into it. So, what I found is a flow state occurs, you know, in any given moment, you need about an hour or two of ongoing work in that task and then you find yourself in a flow state.

So, there’s something about – There’s a settling in process and settling down process and then once you’re in that zone, you’re in that flow state but you can’t – I very rarely find myself starting in the flow state and so, you know, I’ll ramp up a task and start doing something and then as I’m doing it more then I’ll find myself in the flow state.

So, I mean, like, you know, South By is a great example like, you know, again you’ll start and you're like, oh, yeah South By and you have these festivals and there’s panels and, you know, and then you just start going, you start getting into it and by the first day or second day you're down the road and you’re just gonna stop by, you know that you’re in the process of it. So, I think it’s a really interesting thing, it did take some setup and then once you’ve setup then you can start to groove in.