Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the expert on flow.

Csikszentmihalyi started by studying what he calls “optimal experience” or the state in which people are most engrossed in their actions. This brought him to define the concept of flow as a state of effortless attention, “in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter.”

His research has identified nine elements that must be present for flow to occur.

1. Work that is challenging but within your abilities
2. Work with clear goals (you know what you need to do)
3. Immediate feedback through the activity itself
4. A complete focus on the action
5. A lack of distractions or mind wandering
6. Absence of fear of failure
7. Lack of self-consciousness
8. The loss of awareness of time passing
9. An overall sense of fulfillment or enjoyment

Janzer, Anne. The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear (p. 30). Cuesta Park Consulting. Kindle Edition.
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