Source: Deep Learning on Medium
Deep Work — Animated Summary & Review
To remain valuable in our economy, you must master the art of quickly learning complicated things. This task requires deep work. If you don’t cultivate this ability, you are likely to fall behind as technology advances
~ Cal Newport
At a time when every one of us is constantly bombarded by emails, meeting requests, tight deadlines and requests from bosses and co-workers — the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task can be seemingly impossible.
But, fear not, not all is lost.
Deep work is the antidote that just might do the trick for you.
What Is Deep Work?
The author defines it as: professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration (this is key!) that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill and are hard to replicate.
Sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. Let me show you how you can start benefiting from it with just 4 steps.
Step 1) Identify what is deep work in your case
You cannot do deep work if you don’t know what that is.
Take the time to figure out what type of activity will produce the absolute best stuff you are capable of. Keep in mind that you are the only judge of what activity that is.What might work for someone (or for everyone) might not the what works for you.
Decide what deep work is for yourself, don’t be influenced by what is generally accepted.
Step 2) Turn deep work into a ritual
Instead of having random periods of potential deep work, schedule regular blocks of deep work — every day.
By removing the unknown timing and by not relying on willpower to get started, you are setting yourself up for success.
Step 3) Eliminate distractions
Yeah, yeah, I know what you are thinking — that you are not distracted. That you have already creating the perfect environment for work. I hear ya! But, there is always something more you can do. Trust me!
Start by choosing a working space that is dedicated to deep work. Put your phone away, disconnect your computer from the internet if not needed and remove noise, thirst, hunger and potentially other people from the equation.
In the same manner, try to eliminate, minimize or at the very least bulk the minial work together and leave it for the end of the day. Treat less important work as a form of distraction and leave it for when your deep work has been finished.
Step 4) Have a shutdown routine
Decide on a hard work cut off time. No work, deep or shallow is to be done past this point. This will allow you enough time to relax and recharge for the next day.
Create a work shutdown routine for yourself. That might involve checking your messages one last time to make sure there is nothing urgent, making a plan for the following day or reviewing your work. Whatever it it is, get it done and no more work is allowed after that.
Your Turn Now
And there you have it, the 4 steps to becoming a deep work master. It takes practice, it takes dedication, but you owe it to yourself to put it to use.
If you ever need a refresher on the Deep Work concepts, you can always check out the animated review .
Try it out and let me know how it works by leaving a comment below. And, if you have been doing Deep Work for a while, curious to know how it’s going.