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7 tools to help find your flow

7 tools to help find your flow

Social media and the use of digital tools aren鈥檛allbad 鈥 there are infinite productivity apps on your smartphone just waiting to hand you a dose of focus. We all know how good being 鈥渋n the zone,鈥 or in a flow state can feel. When everything around you 鈥 iPhone and iPad alerts, Google Chrome tabs, Slack pings, distracting coworkers 鈥 melt away and you can immerse yourself completely in the task at hand, channeling your energy, allowing for a distraction-free session that leaves you feeling satisfied.

The challenge? Getting there. Stress makes distraction worse and, in some cases, can even cause it. Do you ever find yourself scrolling on social media when you feel overwhelmed about work or aimlessly looking in the fridge for a snack even though you鈥檙e not hungry? You鈥檙e not alone and there鈥檚 a biological reason for your scrolling, stress eating, or whatever procrastination flavor you choose.聽

When you鈥檙e underslept, have too many competing tasks vying for your attention, or have to do something important or challenging, your brain interprets that stress as a threat, triggering a mini fight-or-flight response. Your scrolling, snacking, etc, is a sign that your brain is looking for a short momentary relief from stress through distraction. The problem is that procrastination generally makes you even more stressed out in the long run.

So how do you clear your head so you can focus your energy on what you want to do?

The good news 鈥 there are plenty of trusted tools out there that many of us here at Apollo use to help us get in the zone. You may have heard of tools like the Pomodoro technique to train your focus. The Pomodoro technique is a time management method created by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s 鈥 it uses the Pomodoro timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. This style is tried and true, and many of the apps have iterated off the Pomodoro concept.

Apollo鈥檚 鈥楥lear and Focused鈥 mode is great for deepening your focus on any task at hand 鈥 whether that鈥檚 clearing your inbox, tackling a project, giving a presentation, the list goes on. Apollo鈥檚 Social and Open mode is also a secret power when it comes to keeping your energy up and your creativity flowing. Our co-founders, Dr. Dave and Kathryn, use both big fans of these modes. It鈥檚 far more impactful than just taking a five-minute break between tasks. Apollo harnesses your sense of touch to deliver vibrational patterns that remind your brain that you鈥檙e safe to immerse yourself at the moment. When you use Apollo consistently, you鈥檙e retraining your mind to relax into flow states more efficiently for the long haul.

We love sharing new tools and relaxation techniques that are tried and true by the Apollo team to add to your stress management toolbox to get through stressful situations. When you pair Apollo with other tools to help you focus, even the most distracted mind can find stress relief and achieve flow and clarity.

Note, none of these brands are paying for this content; these are just recommendations from our diverse community. We all gravitate towards different solutions, so we suggest perusing a few free solutions first and see what works for you!

1.Brain.fm

Brain.fmis a mindfulness app that plays music composed to improve your brain activity and help you focus, specific to the activity at hand. Brain.fm鈥檚 technology claims to coordinate your neural activity and removes distractions. Get started with five sessions free.

2.Cory Allen Binaural Beats

You may know Cory Allen from his podcast The Astral Hustle with Cory Allen, but have you listened tohis binaural beats? Our favorite focus tracks are the Binaural Beats for Deep Work or Gamma Flow under Binaural Beats Volume One. Get started withsome samples, and if they鈥檙e for you, you can buy them for as little as $5 for two hours of easy listening.

3.Nuraphone

Nuraphone鈥檚 customheadphoneschange the sound game entirely. Nuraphone learns how you hear and adapts the sound to deliver an entirely new listening experience, helping heighten any audio experience to leave you in a focused flow state. Nuraphones use technology that builds a personalized profile around how your ears hear sound. Jonathan, Apollo鈥檚 Product Director, throws on his Nuraphones and some binaural beats to help him focus through long stretches of coding. Here are a few of Jonathan鈥檚 top songs on Nuraphones:Sarah Davachi 鈥 Gentle So Gentle,Marco Shuttle in the No Way Back Outer Space Room, andSteve Good 鈥 Refracted Light.聽

4.Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee

Coffee made out of mushrooms? Just when we thought we鈥檇 seen everything. ButFour Sigmatic Lion鈥檚 Mane Coffeeis no joke. It鈥檚 perfect for hours of crash-free focus. This is a great substitute for that second cup of coffee you know you don鈥檛 need and inevitably regret as you sit jittery at your desk. At $16/mo, Lion鈥檚 Mane Coffee is a perfectly balanced brew for your mind and body and will knock your productivity sessions off the charts.

5.Deep Work by Cal Newport

Our favorite literature on focus is named accordingly and deserves a spot on this list.Deep Workby Cal Newport is a fantastic read and provides a total reframe of how we think about productivity. Newport offers theories and concrete strategies inspiring and instructing readers how to access a flow state and find focus in a distracted world.

6.Tenzo Matcha

Are you on the matcha train yet? We love the calm focus and long-lasting energy without an afternoon crash. Our favorite is from a company calledTenzo. They promise we鈥檒l 鈥渓ive clear-headed and get sh*t done鈥 鈥 say no more, and count us in. Tenzo offers a greatdiscounted trialfor $40 to see if the zen-like concentration is worth the hype.聽

7.Endel

Endelis an app that creates sound environments based on your setting. What does that mean? Endel uses ambient music curated to help you achieve states like focus, sleep, and relaxation. Endel has cool integrations with Apple Watch and Twitch, like a 24/7 stream of Sleep soundscape that helps gamers reset their sleep-wake cycles. Try it for seven days for free; and, a 1-year subscription will set you back $24.99.