Flow is a mental state, not unlike a trance. You’ve probably experienced it in some shape or form either in games, in roleplay, or at work. Mihály Csikszentmihályi coined the term back in 1975 as a way to describe how the brain can reach a state where all of its mental processing ability is focused on a single task.

Consider for a moment what inputs your brain is dealing with right now. Do you have YouTube in another window? Are you stressed about homework, work, or even preparing an event? Are you sneakily reading this while you’re waiting for someone to pop out an emote? There’s more on that later.

We’re all pretty rubbish at multitasking. I’ll crib an exercise from this video to demonstrate. In your head, silently, try reciting the alphabet silently from A-Z, then count from 1-26.

Go ahead.

You can probably do that pretty rapidly, and it probably isn’t very difficult for you either. Now try the same thing, but pair letters and numbers as you go. So, A1, B2, C3, etc. Go until the tenth pair.

When you're ready.

Different, right? If you tried it, you can probably work out why I asked you to do the whole alphabet on the first one, but less than half the second time. We’re bad at multitasking - really bad. In other words, the worst state for your mind to be in is one where it has to consider many things all at once. In fact, this can lead to a stress response, which takes control away from your human bits and puts your lizard brain in charge.