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

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https://foundr.com/deep-work-principles/

foundr.com

How to Use Deep Work to Ignite Your Productivity and Get More Done in Less Time
Emails. Messages. Phone calls. That new season that just dropped on Netflix. How can you be expected to concentrate in a world full of such delicious distractions? It's as if the universe is conspiring against you. In a lot of ways, it is. That means it's your job to outsmart it.

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What Deep Work Is

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 ...

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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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Recognizing our limited willpower

...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 amo...

Cal Newport

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Organize Your Deep Work

  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 t...

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To work on what matters...

  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 ...

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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. In...

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Concentrate Your Energy

  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...

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Quit Social Media

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 i...

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Eliminate Shallow Time

  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 ...

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Become Hard to Reach

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 str...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The new law of productivity

High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)

Deep work vs. Shallow work

  • Deep work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. Creates value.
  • Shallow work: Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. Doesn't create value.

4 philosophies to integrate Deep Work into your life

  • Monastic: maximize Deep Work by minimizing or removing shallow obligations. Isolate yourself for long periods of time without distractions; no shallow work allowed
  • Bimodal: divide your time into some clearly defined stretches to deep pursuits and leave the rest open to everything else. Reserve a few consecutive days when you will be working like a monastic. You need at least one day a week
  • Rhythmic: involves creating a routine where you define a specific time period — ideally three to four hours every day — that you can devote to Deep Work
  • Journalistic: alternate your day between deep and shallow work as it fits your blocks of time. Not recommended to try out first.

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Time blocking

Time blocking

It's the practice of planning out every moment of your day in advance and dedicating specific time “blocks” for certain tasks and responsibilities.

When you fill your c...

Time blocking and focus

By scheduling every minute of your day you not only guard against distraction but also multiply your focus.

Also, focusing on one task at a time can make you up to 80% more productive than splitting your attention across multiple tasks.

Cons of the time blocking practice

  • It takes a lot of time and effort.
  • Few of us (if any) have the same schedule every day.
  • We’re bad at estimating how long tasks will take to do.
  • Constant interruptions and “urgent” tasks can destroy your system.
  • Flexibility is key in most workplaces.
  • You can lose sight of the bigger picture if you focus just on each day.

2 more ideas

Cal Newport on better managing time

  • To-Do lists are useless. Schedule everything.
  • Assume you’re going home at 5:30, then plan your day backwards.
  • ...