1. Define a clear purpose.
To enter the flow state, you need a goal. Decide what you want to create and why. Vague intentions don’t trigger the flow state.
2. Identify a compelling motive.
In addition to a goal for your creative session, you need a reason to be creative. Why does this task matter to you personally? What difference will it make if you can be creative? Why do you care?
3. Architect a worthy challenge.
To awaken your full creative potential, the difficulty of your creative endeavor must fall within a certain challenge spectrum. On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is trivially easy and 10 is impossible, the optimal creative range is 5-9 with a 7-8 being ideal.
4. Provide a conducive environment.
You’ll find that certain environmental conditions make it easy for you to enter the flow state, while other conditions make it nearly impossible. The optimal environment varies from person to person, so you’ll need to experiment to find what works best for you.
5. Allocate a committed block of time.
Imagine your mind is like a computer. The more you can take advantage of the computer’s resources, the more creativity you harness. To free up the most resources for your creative task, you first need to unload all nonessential processes.
6. Prevent interruptions and distractions.
If you can’t keep yourself from being disturbed by urgent phone calls, emails, or drop-in visitors, you won’t consistently achieve and maintain the flow state. You must do whatever it takes to prevent unnecessary interruptions during your creative periods. Make arrangements to ensure you won’t be disturbed except in an absolute emergency.
7. Master your tools.
Creating a tangible piece of creative work requires tools such as a computer or pencil. Even though it may take years, you must achieve basic competency with the tools of your trade before you can consistently enter the flow state.