How to Use Deep Work to Ignite Your Productivity and Get More Done in Less Time - Deepstash
How to Use Deep Work to Ignite Your Productivity and Get More Done in Less Time

How to Use Deep Work to Ignite Your Productivity and Get More Done in Less Time

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How to Use Deep Work to Ignite Your Productivity and Get More Done in Less Time

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A process of performing “professional activities…in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.” - Cal Newport

Historically, psychologists used to refer to deep work as “being in the flow."

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Shallow work

The non-cognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted, tend not to create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.

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...is the first element of deep work.

That means you won’t have the mental discipline to stay concentrated on a single task unless you prepare your mind and environment to it.

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Cal Newport

"The key to developing a deep work habit is to move beyond good intentions and add routines and rituals to your working life designed to minimize the amount of your limited willpower necessary to transition into and maintain a state of unbroken concentration."

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  1. Develop a deep work schedule and routine: A systematic way of getting in that deep work mindset is to develop a routine in which you always perform the task in the same place and time, for a given time frame.
  2. Work on what matters: At the end of the day, you should be acting like an executive, working towards your goals in a professional, consistent manner.
  3. Accept laziness: While the results should lead to higher productivity levels, your ultimate goal is to have more time for yourself. Enjoy your “lazy” time".

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  1. Identify a small number of ambitious outcomes to pursue with your deep work hours
  2. Find your lag (the goal you’re trying to achieve) and lead metrics (the behaviors you’ll do to reach the goal)
  3. Develop a scoreboard where you track your time spend in a state of deep work
  4. Analyze the results and be accountable for the results, always working to hit the metrics you had previously identified

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Deep Work

 ... is all about taking your existing time spent working and concentrating it to make the most out of it. 

But it’s not that you have to do more things in less time. Instead, it’s about getting more out of the tasks you normally do by reducing distractions. Deep Work is about working smarter, not harder.

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  1. Take breaks: instead of trying to get rid of distractions, you should concentrate the energy you put into them during set breaks.
  2. Schedule tight deadlines: pick your most important tasks, the ones that require deep work, and then you schedule them in a shorter time span than you normally would.
  3. Meditate: set a scheduled break which you dedicate to physical activity, like walking or driving, focusing your attention on a specific problem as you carry out the former.

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But instead of denying their use completely, use the  “Craftsman Approach to Tool Selection.” This means that you copy the way craftsman pick tools: they use the ones with positive impacts that outweigh the negative impacts if you are a Facebook Ads marketer,  use Facebook. If you have found the use of LinkedIn helps you attract traffic and leads to your site, the same idea applies.

But if you can’t find a positive outcome from the use of a social media channel, quit it.

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  1. Schedule all your activities: schedule your day before you start it and organize your work — both deep and shallow.
  2. Finish your workday early: cutting off your working time early will put your mind in “scarcity mode,” pushing you to finish it in less time than usual.

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If you want to find time for your deep work, close all your distractions—email, Slack, phone, internet connection—and work until you’re done. Then reconnect to the world.

The strategy is effective for the simple reason that you’re forcing yourself to do your work — you give yourself no choice but to work.

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