According to Cal Newport, Deep Working is “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.“.
What is Deep Work?
Deep Work means that we must learn to focus intensely on a single task for long periods of time without distractions and without breaking concentration.
- Requires a sense of confidence and a conviction that you will succeed.
- Is at a disadvantage in a society that values social media.
- Is not a trend but it can make you more efficient and transform a boring job into a satisfying one.
- Is rare but is valuable in today’s economy. Deep Work ethics in the workplace is rare as well. Most people have embraced distraction because it is easier and allows us to avoid planning and concentration.
How to train your brain and build habits for Deep Work
To create real value and to get ahead in this economy, it is imperative to develop an ability to:
- Learn and master hard things quickly.
- Produce at an elite level.
There are several rules to Deep Working and to replacing distraction with focus.
Rule #1: Work Deeply daily
Deep Working is about building habits and rituals that go beyond willpower and that will help you sustain focus.
Personal desires such as eating, sleeping, sex, television and music are the main cause for distractions. Willpower is not sustainable enough to fight off distractions because your will will eventually be strained.
That is why Deep Work necessitates rearranging your schedule. You can schedule Deep Work by:
- Minimizing shallow obligations from your day to day.
- Dedicating a full day or more to concentrate on a task and to shut out all exterior noises.
- Routinely going deep everyday at the same time and for the same amount of time.
- Fit in Deep Work wherever and whenever you can.
Besides scheduling your Deep Work and to maximize your success, you must also establish how, what, where, when, for how long you want to practice Deep Work.
Rule #2: Embrace boredom
Deep Working requires that you focus on a task and reject all distractions in a world where your brain has been conditioned to research distraction.
Outside of Deep Work sessions, you have to take care of your mind, embrace boredom, learn to meditate, schedule a break from focus to give in to distractions, rewire your brain to resist distractions.
Surprisingly, embracing boredom will help you improve the limits of your concentration abilities.
Rule #3: Quit social media
There are many benefits to social media.
However, Cal Newport states that modern technology is to blame for shallow work and suggests that social media should be intrinsically used as a tool.
He also emphasizes that you must assess your priorities in life and the impact of social media on your life.
To regain control of your time and attention, you can apply the law of the vital few over your network tools then avoid using Internet to entertain yourself.
Rule #4: Drain the shallowsA deep life is a good life. - Cal Newport in Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World Click To Tweet
Shallow Work can be damaging to your life. Shallow Work can be defined as “Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. These efforts tend to not create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.”
To identify and remove the shallowness from your life, you must apply the following strategies:
- Schedule your entire day to avoid spending time on autopilot and to fully benefit from Deep Work.
- Determine how mush time you are spending on shallow activities and eliminate them.
- Become hard to reach via your network tools.
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport explains all the strategies you can implement to become more productive and more focused in this economy .
Cal Newport takes most of his analogies from educators because they have to go in depth in their field of choice and provide quality work.
However, this book is written for bosses and leaders who want to go to the essential, be more productive, efficiently organize their day, improve workplace culture and who want to achieve their highest potential.
It is sad to see that meditation, Deep Working and deep thinking have disappeared from and been perverted by the corporate system.
Indeed, corporate culture promotes shallows activities. People are busy as ever but are often distracted by network tools and forced to break from their concentration.
Furthermore, people –if they are not the person in charge–who practice Deep Working are not well perceived in the workplace even though they are high achievers and improve productivity.
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport is a good reminder to stay focus and to go to the essential in life.
Let me know below what you think about this book!
A deep life is a good life.
Deep work is at a severe disadvantage in a technopoly because it builds on values like quality, craftsmanship, and mastery that are decidedly old-fashioned and nontechnological.
The deep life, of course, is not for everybody. It requires hard work and drastic changes to your habits. […] But if you’re willing to sidestep these comforts and fears, and instead struggle to deploy your mind to its fullest capacity to create things that matter, then you’ll discover, as others have before you, that depth generates a life rich with productivity and meaning.