How to get into a flow state

Freddie Parker on 29 July 2022
An unfocused person who needs to get into the flow mindset

With dissertations and other bulky tasks, how can you motivate yourself to be disciplined enough to study?

Gathering the energy and motivation to study is half the battle. Sometimes it can feel like you’re sitting at your desk, unable to push yourself to get things done. Here we’ll explain the flow mindset and how to get there:

What is flow?

People usually talk about needing either discipline or motivation to study. While both of those things are useful, they aren’t the only ways to tackle your revision needs. Discipline can be a hard thing to establish while motivation can come and go at random.

If you were to simply start doing your work, where would that take you? Once you become fully immersed in a particular task, this is referred to as a ‘flow state’. You’ve essentially committed yourself to an activity for long enough that you’ll go with the flow and complete it. This is the psychological principle behind getting ‘in the zone'.

How to get there

Firstly, just get started on that assignment. Start gathering your notes and arrange important details in the order you’ll be talking about them. Then start fleshing out the ideas into the proper format where you make a point, back it up with sources, and explain its relevance. Now you’re getting on with it and you’ll find continuing that bit easier.

Eliminating distractions, tidying your workspace, and taking frequent breaks will help you maintain your flow state. Before you know it, you’ll have another few hundred words written. Repeat until you’ve finished all your coursework.

Extra tips

When taking a break, be sure to leave your work at a point you can easily come back to. Starting up again is less complicated if the last point you made is incomplete, allowing you to pick up your writing from a point that is easy to finish.

Make sure you have a clear set of goals in mind. It’s a good idea to have a particular word count you’d like to reach, but if you’re unsure of a good target to set, see how much you can get done in a set amount of time and use that as a benchmark for other sessions. Sticking to one particular task and avoiding multitasking will also help you retain focus.

If you’re really struggling, start with something you find interesting. Perhaps one aspect of the essay topic really excites you. This would be a great place to start as you can use your interest in this part to fuel your motivation and then build the rest of the assignment around it.

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Freddie Parker
Freddie Parker on 29 July 2022