According to a recent study (in the US) teenagers find flow…
- 13% of the time they spend watching TV.
- 34% of the time they spend participating in hobbies.
- 44% of the time they spend playing sports/games.
They key word here is spend. Time is an investment, and we need to spend it wisely. Compared to watching TV sports/games are 3 times more likely to engineer a flow state. But here’s the kicker, the teenagers in the study actually spent 4 times more time watching TV (passive) than the other two active activities. And the bad news is that the ratios are similar for adults.
What’s the reason for this? Well it can take time to get organised for sports/games, averaging around 20 minutes of so called dull practice. But the returns are of course far greater. Perhaps there is a sweet spot between numbing out in front of the the box and spending hours getting ready for a sky dive. The most flow was reported from people who read a lot and watch little TV. Finding harmony between passive leisure time, and because not all activities are the same, active leisure time also. I typically read 6 books at a time, perhaps there is a method behind my madness after all.