Monday, March 23, 2015

#MicroblogMondays: Go with the flow

I'm late posting today, and almost didn't have a post at all. Have you ever gotten so absorbed in a project that you didn't realize what time it was and oops, somehow two hours has just slipped by?  And then you have to pry yourself away and give yourself a shake and try to refocus on the next task at hand that's begging for your attention?

That's me today.  I got looking at some genealogy stuff yesterday afternoon, and one thing led to another, and I've been walking around in a bit of a fog ever since then. 

It happens when I'm working on genealogy, but it also sometimes happens when I'm deep in the middle of a particular blog post or other writing project, or sometimes a really good book. It used to happen once in awhile at work, if I was lucky. I would become so absorbed in what I was doing that I'd look up and it would be 3:30 & I'd missed my usual caffeine break.

(Technically, I still could have gone for a tea, but my general rule of thumb was not after 3:30. I left the office at 4:30 and even though I always made a pit stop at the ladies' room on my way out, I learned that too much liquid too late in the day was not a good idea. Believe me, you do NOT want to have to use the bathrooms on the train unless you can really help it. :p )

It's a concept called "flow," or "the zone."  At its best, "flow" is a mental state "in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does." It's a concept popularized by a psychologist called Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  Brigid Schulte wrote about flow (and our sad lack thereof in these hyperactive, multitasking times) in her great book "Overwhelmed:  Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time," which I read last summer & reviewed here. Not having kids to interrupt helps, of course. ;) 

When was the last time you found yourself "in the zone?" 

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.     


  1. Yep. Been there and thrive when I have all the time in the world. But it's hard to get into the flow sometimes, which is where I am today. You're now my inspiration!

  2. Mmmm. When I was having a friend coach me through an audition last week. I was having trouble with the character but when I'm working it through, I love it. Also when I was making my Christmas bauble wreath. When I do anything creative, I'm really into it.

  3. Oh yes, I get in the zone when I'm working on photos and photo books, or when I'm writing. Often find myself missing lunch or having it at 2.30 - 3.00 pm!

  4. I love it when I get into the zone! I honestly feel like I'm most alive when I'm in a state of flow. It doesn't happen often but when it does I embrace it and ride the wave for as long as it lasts.

    So did you find anything fun while working on your genealogy?

  5. I probably zone at zone out several times a week. When I get into a project, I quickly become fully involved on it, whether its work or personal. Once I start a project, I want to get it down. I hardly even take breaks at work anymore because I'd rather finish what I'm working on first. In fact, just yesterday I nearly missed my lunch break. One of my coworkers asked if I had gone yet, and I realized I hadn't.

  6. It happens with the family tree, too. I get lost Googling, trying to find a missing name. It can go on for hours, combing through records, trying to make something fit. Making calls to places. Hours can pass and suddenly I realize that I haven't done anything that I need to do, nor have I even found the name!