My story: how to achieve flow state and beat burnout with virtual coworking
By Micah Yongo
Mar 03, 2023
We’re lifting the lid through interviews with real-life FLOWN members who use our Flocks to get things done. Focus, ritual and online community – these members now couldn’t imagine their working lives without it. Peek in and be inspired by Amanda's amazing story, and discover the magic of deep work!
Amanda Reynaert is a designer, business owner and serial entrepreneur who has managed to build businesses whilst raising two magical daughters – in other words, she doesn’t do things by halves!
But when she found herself suffering the longest burnout of her career, she knew she needed to find answers that would work, and fast.
Amanda turned to FLOWN for help.
It took her one ‘Flock’ session to achieve flow state. Three sessions, and the to-do list she’d been behind on was complete. Five sessions in and the big scary project she’d been putting off was conquered. Suffice to say, Amanda was hooked!
“I COULD NOT get started on projects. I was leading my team well, but my own work was impossible to start. Work that I was excited about, work that I love to do... with FLOWN, I went from a dark place with zero confidence to a place where I am so confident now. And it happened so fast. A literal flip of a switch.”
Amanda takes us through her FLOWN journey…
Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m a serial entrepreneur, multi-passionate creative, owner of Citrine Design Co., a creative graphic design company. And if all those titles didn’t offer enough clues, I’m neurodivergent too! (ADHD + Aphant). I’m a mom to two magical girls, one of whom is a zebricorn (lives with a rare genetic disease).
I have the immense honor of leading a nimble group of human-first, grow-in-the-discomfort, out-do-our-last-best kind of creatives. We show up for each other, do impactful work for our clients all over the world. When our work day is done we head out to enjoy life away from our work spaces. Getting to know and grow with our clients is one of the biggest sources of pride for us all.
Outside of work I’m always up for any reason to pull out my passport and suitcase. You can often find me in or near the water. And just as often with a pen unloading my latest explosion of new ideas onto paper. And of course you will absolutely find me flowing along side my fellow FLOWNies any chance I get.
How do you use FLOWN in your life?
I use FLOWN daily, throughout my whole work day (and sometimes beyond).
I often say ‘if I’m working, I’m FLOWNing’. I’ve been self employed for 9 years and with a virtual team for 5 years. FLOWN provides me with the structure I need with the flexibility that I crave.
FLOWN’s second Deep Dive session of the day is a 6am start for me, so that gets this non-morning lover out of bed (seriously, no one who knows me would believe I’d be out of bed before sunrise for anything except a plane to catch!). My day follows the FLOWN schedule after that until it’s time to pick my girls up from school.
I’ve also hopped on later sessions to help me out of my office. Beyond my work, Flocks also help me muddle through some of the boring care tasks like cleaning, organizing, cooking etc.
How Flocks work
What do you love about FLOWN? What problem does it help to solve for you? Or what does it help you achieve?
Let me count the ways - ha!
1. Community is top for me.
Working independently, even while leading a virtual team is often lonely. I don’t think I realized how lonely until I began using FLOWN. It’s amazing to me what a few moments of connection does for my sense of belonging and mental health. It’s really lovely to welcome new members and catch up and celebrate with those who I’ve shared many Flocks with.
2. Inspiration and Investment
To piggy back off of point number 1, I’m so inspired by the folks using FLOWN. To see so many lovely people showing up, imperfectly but consistently is really humbling and inspiring. I get to see that commitment in real time and am reminded that I too am showing up and investing in my own deep work practice. And that together we’re inching each day closer to our goals.
3. Consistency and energy management
I’m one of the few people who read Atomic Habits and absolutely couldn’t connect with the book when James Clear pronounced that “everyone has habits, something they do the same way everyday.” I had read this while I waited for my ADHD assessment, and I’m glad I had some awareness then that my brain might not work like others. Else that would have been another self-help book that bruised my hope. There was NOTHING I did in the same way everyday. Literally nothing. No really, nothing.
However, since FLOWN I have built some habits, mostly things that I see as helping me show up the best I can. Things like making sure to eat breakfast, eat lunch. The Flock facilitators also provide great nudges to stretch, take a break, get some water, get a snack. So while I do have habits now, they are exclusively around FLOWN sessions only. Ha!
I’ve been using FLOWN since October, and a lot (about 3-4 sessions a day), not once in that time have I experienced a burnout. Even after my second busiest season project wise. That’s pretty remarkable. I also have an incredible wellspring of creativity that I haven’t had in a very, very long time.
I find my flow reliably now, I’m not waiting for it to strike at random, or with hours left to submit a project. And if I had a day where I’m just off, I can recognize that it’s because I’ve had many amazing days, and I need a lighter day. Which I feel confident taking because I can trust that I will have focus and flow again in the next day or two. I’m not waiting for the perfect flow state to hit so I can hyperfocus ahead of a deadline.
“I find my flow reliably now, I’m not waiting for it to strike at random, or with hours left to submit a project.”
🗨️ Try a Flock for free to trigger your focus and achieve flow state
FLOWN runs 5 deep work sessions called 'Flocks' every weekday, as well as 2 shorter 'power hour' sessions to help you focus on demand.
Flocks are digital coworking spaces, designed to free you from distraction so that you can get more done, and feel good doing it.
Before I joined FLOWN I was drowning in burnout that had carried on for over 4 months, the longest burnout I’d ever experienced. My mental health and confidence in myself were suffering. My word became meaningless, and I was not able to show up in the way that matters to me.
After a hard conversation with a valued client I realized I needed to dig deeper and get more curious. I found FLOWN on a google search. I signed up right away and hopped into a Deep Dive that was currently running with Arjun. He reached out and met me with such kindness and warmth – it felt so special, and what I really needed in that moment. I knew right then it was magic.
I was, however, very worried that like so many other things I’d tried that I would eventually stop using it. It was during a chat with FLOWN’s founder, Alicia Navarro, that she shared with me the names of a few FLOWNies who’d been there since the start, and that helped me flip the narrative.
I no longer worry about not using FLOWN because it’s part of my daily life now. Now I have total confidence in my ability to get work done. That has meant confidence in myself and has me living more into my values every day. And that makes me feel really, really good.
5. Commitment & Care
I feel a responsibility to continue on the warmth and acceptance that’s been shown to me. I want to make as many new members feel seen, welcomed, and supported. And to regularly celebrate the whole team that is making FLOWN. This is changing lives, because I hear and see my experience reflected in so many other members. This fills up my cup.
“This is changing lives, because I hear and see my experience reflected in so many other members.”
What’s your biggest FLOWN success story?
Whew! FLOWN has given me the tools, support and capacity to be able to live fully into the version of me that I’ve always known lived inside me. As someone who was diagnosed with ADHD a few months before I turned 40, I lived a long time feeling like I just wasn’t ‘enough’ and tried all the things to try and be enough.
Self-help was damaging, yet more attempts that I couldn’t make work. I knew there was a better version of me that lived inside, but I just couldn’t ever reach her. But — and this is what makes me so tender, and why I can’t stop talking about how grateful I am for FLOWN — because of what FLOWN has made available, and because I’ve been brave enough to show up fully as myself, I am uncovering that version of me a little more everyday. I’ve realized I was always her, I just didn’t have the support or the safe space I needed to be fully her. And now I do. And that means I’m more creative, more vivacious, more energetic, more open. I’m more.
And as a result my life is more. I have started doing art (well the kind I’m not paid for) again. It’s been over 20 years since I did art. Thanks to the FLOWN facilitators I’ve learned to enjoy the process. I create art for the process now, not the result. Though the irony of having made so many beautiful things since I started isn’t lost on me. Years of denying myself the joy of art because I wanted perfection – I’m so grateful to have it back again.
“I knew there was a better version of me that lived inside, but I just couldn’t ever reach her… This is what makes me so tender, and why I can’t stop talking about how grateful I am for FLOWN — but because of what FLOWN has made available, and because I’ve been brave enough to show up fully as myself, I am uncovering that version of me a little more everyday.”
What’s been your experience of connecting with FLOWN's online community? And how has this changed your experience of work?
I LOVE the FLOWN community. Connecting with members is the best part of my day. I get a real sense of connection and belonging. Even with members I’ve yet to meet. I see us all up on the screen and see fellow deep workers. I see fellow humans showing up imperfectly, as they are, to do work that matters to them, and I’m on my side doing the same thing. No pretense. Just showing up. And I know how hard that can be.
Being able to help someone manage a hard or frustrating day, or to celebrate a win – that’s the best of humans. I feel like FLOWN is made up of the type of folks who make up the ‘Humans of New York’ IG community. Ha!
What’s next on the horizon for you? Any exciting projects or pivots on the go?
Well, right now, I’m getting really curious. I haven’t had capacity in a long time to imagine, it’s been a lot of just keeping the lid on and supporting my team and our clients. And family wise, my children have grown from babies into kids, so I have more capacity in my personal life too.
I’m taking a look at what kind of work I want to do, and what those clients might look like (*hint, a lot like FLOWN, doing good work with real impact), and what more I can offer. Graphic designer has always felt a bit confining, so I’m really interested in exploring what other skills I can share to help others reach their own goals.
FLOWN helps Amanda to focus and create because it offers connection with a supportive community, structure to her days, and accountability to get things done.
How can we help you achieve focus? Join a Flock – Take Off, Deep Dive or Power Hour – and see what it does for you!
Check out Amanda’s work: