Working in a flow state requires a distraction-free environment. So, turn your smartphone notifications off, put your phone out of sight or at least turn it over so you can’t see the screen, close all unnecessary browser tabs (email and social media), and put on your noise-canceling headphones.
If you want to reach peak levels of mental performance and increase productivity, you need to be disciplined about this.
On top of the information overload and outside distractions, most spend little time in a flow state because operating at a heightened mental capacity is energy-draining.
This is why it’s critical to do your flow state work when your mental energy levels are at their peak. For myself, that time is the early morning hours.
Most people fill their morning with scrolling their social media feeds, checking email, meetings, and other tasks that would be better handled in the afternoon. When you perform many of these lower-valued tasks before getting into your most valuable work, the brain has already depleted the energy necessary for entering into a flow state, thus severely limiting your focus and productivity.
My personal rule is that the morning is for content writing, and the afternoon is for editing other’s work and managing other admin tasks. Every morning, I protect 2 to 3 hours for deep, flow state work on getting my first article of the day edited and published and the second article started.
Then, I use the afternoon for rough drafting of my next day’s work as well as administrative work that requires less mental energy and focus. This rule has been a game-changer to my productivity.