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.
Organizations often face challenges that cannot be handle the traditional way.
Leaders quickly realize that creativity is the skill that will remove challenges, increase the success rate and will optimistically carry their organization into the future.
Wondering how to boost your creativity?
What is creativity?
Creativity doesn’t belong to the select few.
Creativity is the process of producing something out of nothing, of combining older ideas, of bringing imagination and ideas into reality.Creativity is intelligence having fun. - Albert Einstein Click To Tweet
The benefits of creativity in leadership
In leadership, creativity is the mindset that improves workplace culture. Leaders who are creative:
- Are self-aware, authentic and passionate.
- Are solution-oriented and insightful.
- Are walking inspirations and are confident about their abilities.
- Make easy connections and see possibilities where there aren’t any.
- Understand that the world has changed and is changing.
- Think outside the box and challenge the status quo.
- Need motivation and autonomy.
How to boost your creativity?
Creativity is harder than we think but plays an important role in job satisfaction. There are a few ways that you can boost your creativity.
1. Take time off to restore yourself
Restoring yourself means that you know who you are and that you understand that society can erode your authentic self. Taking time off will help you to:
- Get out of your boring routine.
- Let your imagination run wild.
- Practice meditation, sleep and rest your mind.
- Prepare yourself for your next move.
- Exercise. Exercising will help you clear your mind and energize you.
- Put some distance between your personal project and your thoughts.
- Organize your day and work at hours where your creativity is the highest.
- Enjoy solitude. Solitude allows introspection and introspection triggers creativity.
2. Change your habits
It is good to change your way of doing things from time to time. In order to renew your though pattern:
- Go somewhere or try something new.
- Try things without fear or shame.
- Say yes to different opportunities more often.
- Expose yourself to things that inspire you and gain more experience.
- Build up new good habits. Building new habits will allow your body to go on autopilot while your mind is free to wander.
For leaders to become original, they would have to know what has already been created.
3. Don’t avoid failures
Failure happens to everyone and is inevitable.
Therefore, take more risks and learn the rules so you can break them.
In addition, laugh at yourself and welcome constructive criticism.
Fail as much as you can and fail early because even when you fail, you can always start over and the lessons learned will make you smarter.
4. Follow your passions and talents
Your passions and talents come easy to you, can be sustained on long periods of time and will fuel your creativity.
- Explore every single one of your interests and natural inclinations.
- Remember your dreams, strengths and passions as a child.
- Analyze the reasons why you are interested in certain activities.
- Take strengths and weaknesses assessment tests.
5. Work on your skills
Acquiring expertise in your area of interest will be swift and will liberate your mind so that your creativity can takeover.
A writer who has never learnt to read or write cannot express his creativity.
A fashion designer who hasn’t learnt different sowing techniques cannot attain their highest potential.
A leader who has never learnt to communicate efficiently will have a hard time sharing their ideas.
6. Keep on open mind
When you want to be creative, it becomes critical to keep an open mind for whatever you do:
- Have an insatiable level of curiosity.
- Listen to the ideas that come to you.
- Read books, listen to music, watch shows that will inspire you and that do not necessarily pertain to your are of interest.
- Learn new skills. Learning new skills will give you the opportunity to explore.
- Remove fear or other negative emotions that may block your thinking process.
7. Write down whatever comes to your mind
Ideas come to you at impromptu moments. It becomes handy to keep a notebook with you at all times so you can write them down as soon as possible.
To jumpstart your imagination, you can try brainstorming techniques or stare at a blank canvas as long as you need it. Blank canvas can be intimidating because there is an unlimited amount of outcomes.
When you are writing down your ideas, remember that there are no good or bad idea, just an unlimited number of ideas.
8. Monitor your surroundings
To get inspiration, you must surround yourself with creative people or with people from different backgrounds who hold different opinions.
You can also sit in public and observe the movement of people.
Last Words Of Advice!
It is one thing to be creative and another to maintain the creative process. You must learn yourself well and stay confident in your ability to create.
To maintain your creativity, first share your vision and ideas across your organization. Then, encourage others to come to you with ideas.
Is your organization doing enough to increase the creativity within the company?
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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