May 29, 2012 by Sarah
I spent 2 hours working on the most mind numbing document today — an RFP for an evaluation of our sports programmes. It probably didn’t help that most of the time I was writing it, I was thinking about the remaining things I want to get done on my play project before the big reveal. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rest of my job but writing stuff like this feels like groundhog day — I could probably create a paper trail the length of New Zealand with all these documents I’ve written over the course of my career.
After my third cup of tea and second visit to the vending machine I realised what my problem was. I was downright bored. And because I was bored I couldn’t seem to find my flow (obviously considering the amount of tea and chocolate consumed). Hungarian born psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi defines ‘flow’ as a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand. It’s that place when time stands still and you forget the world around you. You find your flow when your skills or capability match with the level of challenge in front of you.
While those 2 hours of mind numbing document writing today felt like a waste, they actually served a purpose. They reminded me that over the last month I’ve had very few moments when I’ve felt bored. And I’ve had very few moments when I’ve felt the level of challenge was beyond my reach. What I have experienced, are countless moments where time has flown by. Moments where I’ve let go and got completely lost in what I’m doing. Moments where I’ve found my flow.