Hard and challenging work is like a Non-Newtonian Fluid ( think Cornstarch). If you hit a Non-Newtonian Fluid with a large force, its molecules would become rigid and act as a solid. But if there is little to no force applied, it would stay as a liquid. Tackle all your work at once and you'll hit a solid 'wall'. Slowly dive in and you'll get through it with ease.
What's the Flow State?
The Flow State is a place where you are completely focused on your goals and work. In the Flow State, you feel energized and fully involved in the work you are doing, and at the same time, also having fun. Here are some ways to enter flow...
Arrange your projects into micro-tasks. Try to make your micro-tasks as small as possible. This would make it easier for you to do the larger task because, since you are doing smaller sub-tasks, it would seem like you are barely anything at a time, making it easier for your to push through each of them. On a similar note when you make bold statements about what you're going to accomplish in a set time, even to yourself, you will slam into the 'wall', the tasks would be so extensive and intimidating.
2-Think you are creating garbage
Yes, you read right. Allow yourself to create garbage. Let's say that you are having a hard time writing an essay or a speech, even after breaking everything down into small sub-tasks. Allow yourself to think that you are just going to write some garbage down. This may sound counter-intuitive but it is true. You can always edit later.
3-Jot every idea down
I may have had an idea for something in a non-ideal setting like when I'm on a walk, when I sat down to execute, intimidated by the work ahead of me, I forget the idea! This is why try keeping some sort of note-pad or some app ( try Notion) to take down notes. Instantly put them to use when you get an idea and then you have a list of ideas to refer back to the next time you are at your desk.
4- Challenge yourself
Flow state occurs when you are happy as you work, this is because you are being mentally active. If the task is too easy, you'll be bored but if it's too challenging then you will get frustrated and that prevents you from entering the flow state. Keep this in mind when you divide your tasks into micro-tasks.
5- Figure out your Biological Peak Time
You need to figure out times you are filled with energy, this is early morning for some people but it can vary from person to person. You can try to consciously observe your energy levels for a few days and figure out when you are the most energized. You may notice you feel energized after a proper break— not one involving social media or email and lasting about 15 to 30 minutes.
Note: good break activities don't use up all your attention.
You are least likely to enter the Flow State when you have low energy because you are likely to get easily distracted and have less willpower.
6- Music is key
Some kinds of music help you get into a productive and creative state! I find that repetitive music helps. However, songs with lyrics and drops are usually too distractive. You can check out tools like brain.fm or coffitivity.com or you can look up these kinds of music for specific types of work:
Classical music for repetitive work
Binural beats for big tasks or extreme focus
Lofi for creative work
I have been using these methods for the last month or so and it has truly helped out!
If you are still having a hard time, remember this quote from the author Napoleon Hill, "Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit."
Hope this helped!