There is something satisfying about getting into flow state. As a creative (or anyone who likes to solve tough problems), flow state is where you make progress. I sometimes call this Progress Time. Everything else you do is to keep the lights on, and to improve the chances that you find yourself in flow state.

Tips for achieving flow state

Factors effecting flow state:

  • getting good sleep the night before
  • have my to-dos for the day in order so that they aren’t nagging at me
  • know that I have a block of time allotted where I’m not going to accidentally miss my next meeting
  • Coffee (not too much)
  • Noise cancelling headphones (even if nothing is playing), there is something about separating myself from my surroundings that is especially helpful.
    • The AirPods Pro are amazing for this because they are lightweight, non-fatiguing and have no cable to get wrapped up in.

My Setup

For me, the most reliable way to achieve flow state is to throw in the AirPods Pro headphones and set them to Noise Cancellation and turn on one of the following:

I have much higher quality headphones than the Airpods, but some combination of the noise cancellation, weightlessness, and the lack of a cable makes a huge difference in helping me focus on what I need to get done. I do find it odd that I can either listen to calm, quiet music or aggressive dubstep and they both enable the same thing, but they do. I find listening to unfamiliar music with forward lyrics difficult for concentration. The noise cancellation is also helpful because I find the constant fan noise of the Touchbar Macbook Pro especially annoying.

For listening to music for enjoyment, I prefer the Hifiman Sundara headphones. Use music without lyrics to help achieve flow state

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