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Increasing Your Productivity Can Leave You Feeling Rested And Energised And It Is Not As Complicated

Written by: Joelle Amouroux-Huttner, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

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When was the last time, you were completely and utterly immersed in a task? Maybe you were oblivious to the outside world, focused only on your own progress and what was going on at that very moment in the here and now. Maybe you were doing something you love, like playing music or a certain sport, before realizing that time had totally passed you by.

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That moment is called Flow. Flow is one of those highly enjoyable states of being, wrapping us entirely in the present, and helping us be more creative, productive, and happy.

You may know of Flow in different terms, like the Zone or the Groove depending if you are an artist or an athlete. McKinsey quarterly research reports that in that state of Flow, you are likely to experience an increase in productivity of more than 500%.

Not surprisingly, such results have led leaders and managers to be encouraged to promote “Flow” in the workplace. But, the same McKinzey’s research also found that people report being in flow ‘only’ 10% of the time.

5 steps to get into flow

A simple increase of 20% of time spent in Flow would translate into a substantial increase in productivity and overall well-being. Unfortunately, people don’t necessarily know how to get into the flow and therefore can’t explain to others how to do it. Getting in flow is not rocket science. It is rather simple if you know the steps. But most don’t know how to. Here is a chance to learn. Let’s look at increasing your productivity with these 5 steps to get in the flow.

1. Define your goal

Be very specific about what you want to achieve, and have a clear image of that goal in your mind and what it means practically for you.

Make it SMART: Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant to you, and finally Time-bound.

Make sure your goal will stretch your capacity a little, yet won’t be too challenging, making it unrealistic. The research by McKinzey reports a sweet spot at about 4% above your own capacity.

2. Schedule in time to get in the flow, increasing your productivity

Whether you are setting up your day, your week, your month, or your year, it is important to define set times when you will be working on your important goal and make those times non-negotiable. It is too easy to focus on the minor points on our to-do lists leaving you feeling busy yet not productive.

Give yourself enough time to be able to get into Flow. It takes on average about 15/20 minutes of focused attention to achieve Flow. So it is important to schedule a long enough period of time to achieve and stay in Flow.

Finally, make those scheduled times non negociable. They are as important as any appointments in your calendar. To achieve those goals, you need to make them a priority.

3. Eliminate any distractions and interruptions

Turn off your phone, switch off notifications… Programs exist to limit notifications, alerts, and even access to the internet (except for those programs needed for your work) during the periods that you have set up as flow time. The same goes for interruptions. Make it clear to everybody around you that you're not to be interrupted during those times.

Whenever you get distracted or interrupted, on average, it will take you 15 to 20 minutes to get back in Flow. Do the math! How many times, are you interrupted or distracted in your work day and how much time does it cost you in terms of productivity?

4. Create an environment where you can be totally focused

If you are adept at multitasking, you are in for a rude awakening. To achieve Flow, you need to be entirely focused and concentrated on the task at hand. Hence the previous point about distraction and interruption. But you also need to help your brain stay focused and concentrated.

There are several methods to help you there. They are designed to keep your mind from getting distracted and to get you more focused faster. Aside from programs such as those controlling external distractions, those noise-canceling headphones, or even brain entrainment programs, you could choose to follow a meditation practice, or some simple breathing exercises to slow down your thoughts and calm your mind before you engage in any activities.

5. Take a break regularly

While it would be tempting once in Flow to want to stay in and continue, it is important to stop at the end of the allocated time, to give your brain a break.

Being in Flow is pleasant and a reward in itself, but it is also extremely demanding.

Take a break, go for a walk, or do something completely different, before you can decide to engage in the process again.

Furthermore, having a time limit will make the process of concentrating and focusing that much easier as your brain will recognize that even if the process is uncomfortable to start with, it is not meant to last forever.


Now, while those steps are common sense and may appear simple, they are easily dismissed because of their deceiving simplicity. Simplicity does not mean easy.

Like with any skill, you will need to start with the basics before you can master the skills and get better, that will only happen with time and consistent practice.

With regular practice and some persistence, you will see a rapid improvement in your productivity level at work and in your life, creating a virtuous cycle.

I often notice that while we know the simple steps to achieve something or anything, we are rarely implementing them. They are often deemed too easy and so are overlooked.

Yet “Complexity is the Enemy of Execution”.

In my practice, I focus on helping busy leaders improve their ability to get in a flow. It translates into higher productivity, and a reduced sense of being stressed. They feel more energised. As their skills improve, so is their self-confidence. Their sense of accomplishment soars.

I help them learn the steps, and most importantly, practice those steps consistently.

If you, like many people, find yourself struggling to implement common sense, then, maybe we could have a conversation to help you define what you can do to kickstart the process.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn and visit my website for more info!

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Joelle Amouroux-Huttner, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Joelle Amouroux-Huttner is a coach specializing in burnout recovery and getting people back in flow. After a total burnout, Joelle experienced first hand the struggle of recovering mentally and emotionally after a burnout. She learned methods to help herself recover and regain her self-confidence. She never looked back and has strive ever since. She has dedicated her life to helping others manage their stress, strive and live life to the fullest.

Her international clients include CEOs, top managers, Leaders, actors and performers, students.

Her mission is to help you thrive – not survive – despite the pressures of our modern-day, fast-paced business world. The goal is freedom, fun, and more than a little joy.



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