How do you choose activities that will pull you into the flow? And how do you adjust activities to foster this mindset?
Mostly, it has to do with finding the right balance between your skill and the challenge. If you are highly skilled at a task the less challenging it is the more bored you become. Your mind wanders and you lose focus because you don’t need it. You can accomplish the work on autopilot.
On the other hand, if the challenge is extremely high and out of your skill range, instead of remaining calm in the situation, you get overwhelmed. Feeling higher amounts of stress pull you out of the flow as you spiral into anxiety.
Both of these scenarios can be frustrating and in the end you fail to accomplish much of anything.
Falling into the flow and finding enjoyment in a task occurs when the difficulty of the challenge and your skill level balance out. Your ability stretches just enough because of the challenge and keeps you focused on each moment as it comes. When operating in this realm even if you fail the task you will not be as frustrated. The enjoyment of the experience and your effort become the reward in and of themselves.
Apply this idea to your day by adding greater challenge to tasks that are too easy. You can also look for new and fun challenges that match your skill level. Finding and adding activities like this to your life provides more opportunity to practice being in flow. This practice directly translates to the court or the field.