Updated: Nov 8, 2022
I’ve had a practice called “Janet Friday’s” for many years - it emerged as a practice after feeling unbalanced as a leader. In order to feel ease in my life, I need to carve out a day each week for reflection, resilience and flow. It allowed me to focus, concentrate and stay healthy.
When I share the practice with others they often feel like they can’t take that kind of space away from meetings or phone calls. I honestly don’t think I would survive without it. At first glance, it might seem like I am ‘taking a day off’ but in reality, I am taking time to be in a place of leadership, creativity and flow.
It is a day each week where I reset my priorities, focus on what is most important and get things done. I might spend part of the day walking in the forest or sitting beside the ocean or moving my body instead of sitting in an office chair. Other Friday’s I might focus on completing a large writing project. I need space to see the challenges I am addressing and space to write and think. Friday’s are my day to be in a flow state.
I shared this Friday practice with my students and asked them to test out the concept of ‘Flow Friday’. I was lucky to teach with Adrian Sinclair (Vancouver Mural Festival) who has a beautiful understanding and curiosity about flow. He helped by taking students on a number of field trips to see if they could find their own flow. They spent time trying out activities in pairs, groups and alone to notice when they achieved flow states. Most of us don’t even notice when we are in flow. How do you find your flow? The first step is to slow down to notice and pay attention.
If you want to read more about flow - the concept was coined in Cziksentmihalyi’s (1990) first edition of Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. He identified a number of ways through which we can achieve flow.
Our bodies - movement, dance
Our minds - tasks & challenges
Memories - reflection & insight
Contemplation - asking big questions
Communication - being heard and understood
Writing - organizing thoughts
We can experience flow throughout our day. It’s a choice. That’s the beauty of finding flow.
Enjoy a Flow Friday today : )
Move your body in a new way
Try a new challenge with a friend
Spend time looking through photos
Ask yourself a big question
Call a friend and share space to listen
Write down your thoughts
Learn a new skill
Spend time in nature