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063: How to Build in Flow and Ikigai in Your Workday

On this episode I talk with Ikigai facilitator and coach Jennifer Shinkai about how to build in flow and ikigai in your workday.

Today I’m talking again with Jennifer Shinkai, an Ikigai facilitator and coach. Originally from the UK, Jennifer has been living and working in Japan for over 20 years. As a facilitator and coach for global corporate clients, she focuses on building inclusion and discovering ikigai in the workplace. As well as running her own business, she's a mother of two kids, a runner, a podcaster, the founder of a thriving online community for entrepreneurs and a lover of the creative arts: theatre, literature and art.

Jennifer finds flow through taking her weekly art class, giving workshops, and sometimes when running.

While facilitating group workshops she experiences what she calls a ‘meta-experience’ where it is sort of like an out-of-body experience. A place where time seems to pass effortlessly.

Some of her other flow activities are when she is giving workshops, writing, coaching etc. We are better able to access flow when we can “hold something lightly.” In the beginning when we are consciously learning something and building that muscle memory the inner critic is in the way, we are consciously incompetent, and it’s harder to reach a flow state.

But “if you can remove yourself and remove the expectations of what the outcome is and just be in the moment, that’s an important intention setting to get into flow state. “

Deadlines can get in the way because you are more focused on the outcome, not the journey. Finding Flow in the Workplace Entrepreneurs and business owners have a benefit of creating their own schedule for the most part, allowing time to focus. People in a corporate setting however can try to take opportunities to eliminate distractions.

The biggest hindrance to office settings and corporate situations are all of the disturbances and distractions that pop up, keeping us out us flow. The phones ringing, the gossip, the excitement all hinder flow. Sometimes the busy hum of the office can provide a rhythmic background to enable us to focus, but the chance of being distracted is much greater than if you fully separate yourself from the world for 45 minutes. No emails, no phones, no buzzers, no notifications.

You need to have a space to shut the world out. Make use of a meeting room, put “busy” on your calendar, and turn off your email. Evaluate Your Career Position Think about career changes you could make within your corporate roles.

Spend some time thinking about how your work makes you feel. Also, think about what you are good at.

Also, evaluate where you can be the most useful for the organization as well as for yourself. Role Creation Open up a line of communication with managers and let them know that maybe a particular role or project isn’t really working or a great fit for you.

Think about areas that could improve the organization and the possibility of creating a new role for yourself. Companies are always needing to change to stay with the times, the new demand from customers, competitor’s strategies are changing. Highlight ways you can take the lead in a developing area.

This type of Job Crafting may be easier if you are working in a company that is growing. However, we are in a changing business world post-pandemic and the jobs your organization have right now may not even be there in 5 years.