Formulations, for which you otherwise have to struggle, just bubble out. Ideas for new projects come out of nowhere. Solutions to complicated challenges are suddenly obvious, as if they had always been there.
If you know this feeling, that work gets done effortlessly and almost by itself, then you know what "flow" is. Flow is a state of above-average concentration and significantly increased focus.
The term "flow" comes from psychology, dates back to the 1950s, and is becoming increasingly important in today's work environment.
Who benefits from flow?
One might assume that flow is more relevant to people in creative professions, such as copywriters, artists or musicians. But flow is not only a state of high creativity, but also of focusing on the essentials. For example, surgeons and extreme athletes are often in the flow.
But those who usually spend the day in an office chair benefit just as much from the increased productivity due to the flow. On the other hand, if you're constantly distracted and never feel like you're making progress, you'll burn out in the long run and no longer be productive.
Whether you have experienced the flow yourself or not yet, the interesting question is: How do you get into the flow?
Getting into the flow
A quiet environment with no distracting noise, a door you can close, and a comfortable office chair. All of this sounds like it's necessary to get into the flow. But it isn't.
The only basic requirement is that you are not distracted by other topics and that you have the opportunity to fully concentrate on one topic. So it is easily possible to get into the flow in the middle of a horde of romping children in a kindergarten - maybe your own child should not be there.
The colleague or co-worker who comes into the office and wishes a good morning is no problem. But if he wishes you a good morning and says that he has to leave early today, then this can already interrupt your concentration considerably. This is because a film immediately starts in your own head with scenarios of what this could possibly mean for the workflow during the day. This interruption is enough to stop the flow of concentration.
Depending on the personality type, it takes between 15 and 30 minutes to get into the flow. Most often, 20 minutes is cited as an average. The problem: With every interruption, the clock starts ticking all over again.
The biggest distraction is constantly in front of your eyes.
The real problem comes from the very place we need to work: our computer. Not only is it the place where we get work done, but it is also the source of unnecessary disruptions and, most importantly, interruptions at the wrong time.
Emails are still an important means of communication in companies, if not the most important. However, especially when it comes to the emails one receives in CC, very few are relevant. The concentration required to mentally process a non-relevant email (and classify it as non-relevant) is enough to interrupt focus on the actual topic for minutes. Over the course of the day, this adds up to unproductive time, the exact extent of which you really don't want to know.
Chat systems like Teams or Slack don't really improve one's situation, unless I'm the one who wants to know something quickly.
Chat systems don't really improve one's situation, unless I'm the one who wants to know something quickly.
Video meetings are also often unnecessary. Either the group of participants could be smaller or the meeting could be omitted. But that only works if there are other ways to communicate that are ideally more time-saving and efficient. The key is structured information storage - and email is the exact opposite of that. Good organization means being able to retrieve information at the right moment instead of being distracted by it at the wrong moment.
Every piece of information that hits you is like a raindrop. You don't get wet from a raindrop. But many of us, in fact, stand in the rain all day. What is particularly unpleasant is that you are constantly exposed to information, but you still have to gather everything from different places at the crucial moment.
By information, by the way, we mean everything from meeting reports with customers, feedback from customer support, an addendum to the order, or a query from a customer. It means everything you need to have in front of you to complete a task.
Is that where the name Octaved Flow comes from?
Our mission with Octaved Flow is to enable better work for everyone. More productivity not only benefits the team and the company, but creates your own freedom to think out-of-the-box for once. And it is about protecting the most important resource of any company, the competent employee, from a drop in performance or complete failure.
Octaved Flow has many aspects and improves own work as well as teamwork in parallel on several levels. The name of Octaved Flow is in fact derived from working in the flow. However, the goal of Octaved Flow is broader. The users of Octaved Flow should be enabled to be more productive and simply have more fun at work.
How Octaved Flow supports the flow
Of course, in Octaved Flow there is no button you can press to get into the flow. You have to get into the flow yourself. But Octaved Flow has your back.
How does it work? Octaved Flow contains different modules that work together to make processes measurably more efficient. The structure that is created allows things to be tackled in larger blocks, which is a prerequisite for longer concentration on a topic. Examples of the modules and how they increase productivity:
- Through Wikis, instead of having a lot of information piling up on you, there is one central repository. This means fewer e-mails, but everything in a central place, and when you need it.
- Task management for a clear daily structure. This creates coherent times for a topic.
- Evaluation options to see if more productivity has really been created, processes have been streamlined and workflows have become more efficient.
- Forward-looking team planning for less chaos and stress shortly before deadlines.
- Realistic resource planning that keeps team members evenly distributed and not overloaded
- Including everyone in the flow of information. After all, if you haven't been cut off, you don't have to spend time getting back involved.