My little flow experience yesterday has led to quite a revelation: flow is what has been missing in my life. It seriously took me almost three months since I left my last job to figure out what was wrong. Sure, the hours were long, but I used to study 10+ hours a day when I was in school, including some weekends. Sure, the land acquisition phase of development sucks, but I knew it would end sooner or later. Sure, there were some challenges with the teamwork, but that’s what makes a job interesting. There never really was a good reason why I shouldn’t enjoy a job that had meaning (I was on the front line of renewable energy), had visible impacts (we were developing projects to replace fossil fuel power plants within the next year), and pushed me to keep learning (I had never done anything like it). It should have been the perfect job.
But I was distracted for 8-10 hours a day. Only during the most menial of tasks could I actually get focused and create something resembling flow. Being able to work in a flow state each day makes the rest of life infinitely more enjoyable. Coming home after a day of task-switching makes even an evening of Netflix seem like too much cognitive effort. But after a day of focus in flow, I find myself ready to crank out a blog post or dive into a book. Living a healthy life is just easier when work doesn’t suck.