The Flow Experiment: Conclusions

posted in: Habits, Reflections, Updates | 0

I am weird. I enjoy productive and nonproductive tasks.

With the help of the Flow Experiment, I found out that I can be in a state of flow while doing various things, ranging from chatting about global politics to studying chemistry to reading thrillers.

Doing the dishes and the laundry do not induce a state of flow. In fact, the only reason I do my own laundry is because I’m an adult and I should look after my stuff by myself. Looking after it by myself doesn’t entail doing it on time, however. With the dishes, I only do them to score points with my mom, and because she really needs the help. Again, this might take a few hours to get done. Or maybe days. Depending on who is doing the cooking.

But I digress.

The Flow Experiment only helped me confirm something I knew previously but refused to acknowledge: depending on the day and my mood, I can be in a state of flow doing things that may be pointless too. But.

Movies and TV don’t induce a state of flow. Although I tend to downplay it a lot, I watch too many TV shows. In fact, if you asked me to list all the shows that I’m currently following or catching up on, I won’t be able to remember all of them. I had a sneaking suspicion that I might be in a state of flow while watching, but it turns out that I’m not. I’m more engaged with intellectual videos, like SciShow and Minute Physics on YouTube. (Both of which are amazing, I may add. Nope, not being paid for this little advert.)

With regular TV shows, even ones that have some level of scientific stuff in them – aka Grey’s Anatomy – I’m not that engaged. I tend to whip out my iPhone and play Sudoku while watching them.

So I’m going to try and work on cutting them out of my life, replacing them with books, even ones with crapy plots, because they help me avoid mistakes in my own writing. Grey’s Anatomy and similar shows I might not cut out entirely, because they do help with the clinical terminology, but I definitely don’t need Revolution. Or Arrow. Or Doctor Who. Those I can keep for entertainment’s sake, but I need to cut them down to one episode per week. Not per TV show per week, though.

I also need to find something to occupy my mind while doing chores. I think revising the parts of the Quran that I’ve memorized (and working on memorizing more) will help with this.

So. Scientific conclusion of the experiment: parts of the hypothesis have been proven right, other parts proven wrong, and, I am a human. I am not a machine that is made to do one specific thing. I am diverse, and I have many interests, all of which keep my mind occupied.

Until next time. (Which hopefully won’t be too long.)

Your thoughts on this will be appreciated!