What Is ‘Flow’ and How Can I Achieve It?

You probably know it well. You practice and your sense of time and place disappears completely. You’re 100% immersed in music. Everything goes up to a higher level and you don’t want to stop at all. You’ve entered a rhythm. A bubble of creativity and positive energy.

This is what is called being in flow. A state where you forget everything around you and have all your attention focused on the music that comes naturally to you. It gives a feeling of strength and satisfaction where you feel even more creative than usual. Therefore, it’s also a state that’s beneficial when you want to immerse yourself in the music. It gives you improved focus, makes you happier, more productive and you feel full of potential.

Unfortunately, it’s not a state that one can always attain at will. The eternally inspired artist is generally a myth, and flow is something that requires an effort to achieve. It’s therefore useless to just sit and wait for the flow to begin all by itself. However there are various things you can actively do to achieve a state of flow. These ideas can be especially helpful if you easily lose focus and are distracted by things around you that thwart the creative process.

That’s why we have gathered a number of great tips on how to get into a good flow.

  • It’s crucial that what you’re trying to concentrate on actually makes you happy. That the instrument you are practicing on is just right for you. It’s significantly easier to achieve a flow mode if you love what you’re doing.
  • Don’t spend too much time on practices that don’t inspire you. Rather concentrate on what you’re having fun with and finding meaning in.
  • Give yourself a task which is challenging but achievable. If it’s suitably challenging it will increase your focus and at the same time give you self-satisfaction when you’ve reached the goal. A task that is either too easy or too difficult can make you lose concentration and motivation.
  • You must have clarified two things. 1) When and where can you get enough peace to immerse yourself? 2) When in the day do you have the most energy to give it a go? It’s useless to start practicing when there’s unrest around you or when you are tired. Therefore, find a good time of the day that fits in with you and your family’s rhythm. Make sure to do this regularly so you have it fresh in your consciousness – this will make it easier for you to get back into the flow state quickly.
  • Make sure all distractions are hidden away. A beeping phone, a switched on computer or clutter can all be distracting and make it difficult for you to get into flow.
  • Try to stay in flow as long as possible. If something suddenly bothers you and your thoughts wander to something else, try to get back into the flow again. That way you can practice being in the state for longer and longer.
  • For some it can be easier to get in flow if they play with others. This is surely a challenge during the current public health situation, but hopefully we can meet and play together again soon.
  • One thing that is destructive to getting into flow is perfectionism. If you’re very self-critical and want to do everything exactly right, it can kill creativity. Remind yourself that music can be as fun as you want it to be and that no-one is perfect.

If you have other pieces of advice to get into a good flow, please do share them with us!

Enjoy!

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