Goals, Intentions, Productivity, and Flow
Goals are statements that describe where you want to go or what you want to achieve. I think of the time being more than a year and somewhat indeterminate. An example would be I want to live a healthier lifestyle.my goals for 2020 are
1. Become proficient in ROAM
2. Become proficient in Notion
3. Rotary: get more involved.
4. Blog 2-3 times per week.
5. Publish to Medium 2 timesaver week.
6. Create a monthly newsletter.
7 Improve my health so that when it is safe to travel, I can go see my kids.
8. Encourage people to think and become better citizens of the world.
9. To define my systems for capturing, storing, retrieving and expressing my ideas about the information I gather.
Intentions are like goals except for me they are shorter term. I might have many intentions that relate to my goal of a healthier lifestyle. My intentions might be to walk 10,000 steps a day, eat more fresh vegetables, and take three bike rides a week. Another aspect of intentions is that they are tiny. You could think of them as bite-sized pieces that make up a goal. I will usually set my intentions for the coming week in my weekly review. Because of this, I am reviewing my goals, projects, calendar, and tasks at least once a week.
Productivity is about measuring what you produce against the work you do to produce it. Now we have entered the realm of something that is measurement. We have to assign discrete tasks that you need to do. Then you measure how long it took to do them or how many you got done. When we work for someone else, then our manager and his manager want to know what we got done and hopefully what ideas we have about how to get it done more efficiently.
To raise our efficiency, we need to build systems. Carmakers built production lines to improve its efficiency. Typists measure’s words per minute. However, measurement has become more difficult during the pandemic. We are working from home with no one looking over our shoulder. This is creating a new challenge for supervisors and managers. They need new measurements that take into account different working conditions. The new buzzword for efficiency and productivity is “Flow.”
We all know what flow is. We have heard over and over that “I will go with the flow” and if I don’t get done what I wanted, it wasn’t meant to be. That isn’t exactly what we are getting at here. Flow happens when you are working on something and you are so engrossed and focused so that nothing else matters. True flow is hard to get into.
When you achieve the flow state in your task you are not worried, not bored, and not distractible. You are or engrossed in what you are doing. The more you learn how to get into a flow state, the more you will get done and the higher productivity levels you can attain. Mastering the flow is all about action. If you are worrying about whether you have all the resources you need to finish this task you cannot get into the flow. You will look for distractions so you don’t have to start, social media, email the internet, or another task.
How do I get in the flow?
The chart shows flow is about working on a task or an intention and taking action. Flow is taking action. The first thing you have to do is intending to take action on a task. Then remove the distractions. Turn off your phone, turn off notifications. Move to a place to work where you don’t expect to get interrupted. Finally, start work. Flow is now. Focus on the work you are doing and if you can stay focused, then you will enter flow.
“Being in the flow means being aware that the river of life is flowing to us at every moment. Being in the flow means accepting whatever comes and putting it to good use, before passing it on. Going with the flow means allowing whatever comes to move on freely, without holding on in any way.” Anonymous
Isn’t it strange how life won’t flow, like a river, but moves in jumps, as if it were held back by locks that are opened now and then to let it jump forwards in a kind of flood?
— Anita Desai