Being ‘in the zone’ or feeling your flow can help you revise for exams more easily. Discover what a flow state of mind is, the benefits and how you can find yours.
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When you’re in your flow state, you'll be able to boost your productivity which ensures you'll retain the information you're learning about. In this article, we explore what flow state is and the steps you can take to stop procrastinating to improve your revision performance.
Flow state of mind describes the feeling when you're so ebngrossed in an activity that you don’t think about anything else. When you're feeling 'in the zone,' this is when you know you've reached your flow!
According to the psychologist, Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi, who has carried out extensive research into flow, it’s can be defined as:
‘The holistic sensation people feel when they act with total involvement.’
Here's how to use your flow to boost revision performance:
switch off your phone - social media and email interruptions will distract your focus
schedule time to do your revision - tell other people you're focusing so they don't disrupt your flow
choose revision tasks that will stretch you - in a state of flow, you should feel confident you have the skills to complete your task, but it should still provide an enjoyable level of challenge
revise somewhere quiet - you may find it more difficult to become immersed in your revision if you’re surrounded by constant distractions
be patient - it can take anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes for your flow to kick in
shift your mindset away from unhelpful thoughts - thinking ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I’ll never remember this’ is counterproductive. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself
record your progress and stay on track - Ticking off your revision as you complete it will help you to feel more positive
take short breaks to stretch - rest your eyes and stay hydrated, but avoid engaging with other tasks that may disrupt your sense of flow
These exercises can help you find your flow, whether you’re revising or at work:
1. When were you last working in a flow state? Identify the specific details - what was the type of work, where were you working, who were you working with and did you have a deadline?
2. When you were last in a flow state, as identified above, what skills were you using? Do you have time to do more challenging tasks that better match your skillset?
3. What practical steps can you take to set up the conditions for more flow working?
4. What should you stop doing that prevents you from finding time to work in flow?
While it may not be something you’ve really thought about until now, finding your flow is incredibly useful for boosting productivity.
The advantages of feeling your flow are reportedly widespread and span beyond making you enjoy certain activities. Benefits include:
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