# The components of flow experience

When people experience the flow state, most will mention at least one, often all of the below listed components. Even though Mihaly presents this as 8 individuals components, I have grouped the components into the prerequisites and the subjective experience that one get during the flow activity.

These are the prerequisite you need to enter the flow state:

  1. A challenging activity that requires skills: The skills being used must match with the challenge given, see Flow model
  2. Clear goals
  3. Immediate feedback: The immediacy of the feedback is crucial to maintain concentration, but the kind of feedback you get is unimportant as long as it’s aligned with the goal.

Once you have fulfilled the prerequisites, the first initial subjective experience you’ll be able to get is: 4. Concentration on the task at hand: This is not about making sure that you’re in the condition to concentrate. Rather, this emphasises that with the prerequisites fulfilled, you’ll be able to concentrate regardless of the condition you’re in.

These are the rest of the subjective experience that you may notice once you have completed the flow activity:

  1. The disappearance of awareness: There is no doubt in your action.
  2. Exercising a sense of control: You will enjoy exercising control in difficult situation, which is different than a sense of being in control
  3. The disappearance of self: You forget about the ‘self’.
  4. The transformation of time: Hours may feel like minutes, or vice-versa. Exception applies to a task that requires precision of time like surgery.

# References

Mihaly, Flow (p. 49).

As our studies have suggested, the phenomenology of enjoyment has eight major components.

Mihaly, Flow (p. 66).

Often hours seem to pass by in minutes; in general, most people report that time pass by much faster. But occasionally the reverse occurs: Ballet dancers describe how a difficult turn that takes less than a second in real time stretches out for what seems like minutes […]