Optimal Work: how to prepare your mind for work


Have you ever gotten distracted while you worked? Perhaps you sat down to read, or write, when you heard that fateful buzz. Your phone wants your attention. You pick it up. Your friend wants your attention. You respond. The internet wants your attention. Your worries want your attention. Your daydreams, your food, your ...

Now - have you ever enjoyed your work? Have you ever lost yourself in your work? If you're reading this on Vestigium, chances are you're a scholar - chances are you have experienced a state called flow. Flow is a seamless unity in your attitude, attention, and action that enables you to work with your full intelligence and focus. It is a measurable and objective state of the brain. You can see it on fMRI scans. It is also something that you can understand and attain at will.

Dubbed "optimal experience," flow is becoming increasingly important in the field of psychology. And OptimalWork has cracked the code on flow. Dr. Kevin Majeres, who teaches psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is my co-founder at OptimalWork, has developed an original psychological model that draws on neuroscience, cognitive behavioral therapy, and virtue theory. From this theory, we've developed a simple practice called the Golden Hour, a three-step process for attaining flow at will.

If you want to transform your work from mindless drudgery, something you only complain about and dread, to something you enjoy, that gives your life meaning, then OptimalWork is for you. If you want to get your work done as quickly as possible so you can spend your evening on WhatsApp, OptimalWork probably isn't for you. But perhaps you'll change your mind.

Dr. Majeres and I began our work over the past few years by teaching these practices to students at Harvard. After seeing that our approach transformed their working habits, we started a website, OptimalWork.com, to bring it to a wider audience. Our program aims to make these results available to as many people as possible, so anyone can learn to challenge themselves according to their highest ideals in each hour of work.


Co-founder of OptimalWork