Project Management

The PM Podcast Episode 451: Flow for Project Managers

By , and Andrew Kallman

Last week, I must have missed the start of at least three scheduled meetings. In each case, I saw on my calendar that the meetings would start in an hour or less, which meant that I could probably start and finish another task before I had to be at those meetings. And each time, I got so involved in the task I was working on that I lost track of everything around me and the meetings started without me.

In positive psychology, this is called a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone. This is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by the complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting transformation in one's sense of time.

Wouldn’t it be great, if we could apply this to all our projects and everyone working on it? You can.

To see how flow can be applied to our projects, we are welcoming Andrew Kallman to the program. He and his brother Ted Kallman wrote the book Flow: Get Everyone Moving in the Right Direction...And Loving It and Andrew is here today to give us an introduction.

Here is how someone describes the effect flow has had on their projects: Flow is when you know where you are headed, know what your goal is, and know the steps necessary to get there. It's like running a race. You don't plan each step along the way, but you keep your eyes on the finish line, and everything you do moves you toward it thanks to your training.

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"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world."

- Lucille Ball