From Kanye West to Charles Dickens, creative people understand that getting deep into creative challenges is the key to solving them. But it’s also the key to deeply enjoying work. Research shows that reaching a state of ‘flow’, where you lose track of time and find your creative sweet spot, not only yields your best output, it’s also the secret to human happiness. You don’t need to be a neuroscientist to see that’s a win-win…
Get more ‘aha!’ moments
Those moments where your big idea strikes? Neuroscience shows that these don’t come from nowhere – they’re the culmination of a series of brain states…
Connect the dots
These brain states include intense concentration, interspersed with play and relaxation. Play is associated with high-level reasoning, while relaxation turns your attention inwards to help you reach insights.
Tune out to tune up
The ability to tune out the outside world will also serve you well – there are certain brain activities that work better when you’re alone. Enter a state of ‘constructive internal reflection’ and see the ideas flood in.
Maya Angelou's work was underpinned by simple but strict rituals and a deep work approach. She had a room reserved for writing (which had just a bed, desk, Bible, dictionary, deck of cards and a bottle of sherry). After her 6am coffee, she'd work uninterrupted into the afternoon.
Sahil Lavingia, founder and CEO of Gumroad, sets aside time for creative disciplines to supplement his routine and keep his mind primed for deep work. "The compounding interest of skill development in regards to both writing and painting are insanely fulfilling and keeps me going."
Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo has spoken about her need to write in bursts, interspersed with walks, cycling, swimming, “siesta-ing”, and her various other professional commitments. “I don’t believe in writer’s block,” she told LitHub. “If there’s a problem with getting words on the page, it needs to be investigated.”
Join a daily Flock session – our virtual accountability groups – tap into your brain's triggers to help you focus on your creative challenges.
Take a break from cerebral work with FLOWN Quests – 10-minute meditative exercises and sensory challenges that refresh your creativity and concentration.
Become a deep work expert with the FLOWN Academy, our bite-sized lessons on creativity and flow.
Switch off from social media and indulge in mentally stimulating 5-minute reads in the FLOWN Almanac.
Our collection of curated properties are provide you with the space you need to unleash your creativity. They're all optimised for you to work.