Intense Work In Frequent Bursts - Deepstash

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10 In-Depth Strategies to Improve Your Focus and Produce High-Quality Work

Intense Work In Frequent Bursts

Set up a system where you focus on a specific project intensely for 25 minutes at a time, followed by a 5 minute break. Repeat this process 3–4 times and then take an extended break for about 10–15 minutes.

However, while you are on a break do not suddenly shift to multi-tasking, do just one thing at a time. Preferably, give your eyes a break from the screen or do something that requires movement.

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Prepare Your Brain

Take a minute or two to sit in a comfortable position and breathe deeply into your stomach.

Let your body calm down before you approach your work. You’ll find it rea...

Where Your Focus Needs To Be

Take the time to identify what deserves your focus for the year, for the month, for the week, and for the day. Then look at your calendar and block time dedicated to focus.

Unplug For 30 Minutes

If you need to focus, log out of email and social media. Log out for 30 minutes either at the beginning of the day or for a period in the afternoon. You won’t believe how much you can get done when you’re not always interrupting yourself to return emails.

Attention = Focusing + Ignoring

Paying attention involves two separate distinct brain functions: 

  1. “enhancement” - our ability to focus on things that matter) 
  2. “suppression” - our ability to ...
Suppressing distraction gets harder with age

Our ability to filter out distractions, not our concentration, diminishes with age. 

As we grow older we get more and more distracted. 

Less visual clutter to eliminate distractions

When your eyes are closed, your brain isn’t working as hard to filter out visual information. So: 

  • Use one screen, one browser window, and one computer program at a time.
  • Keep your physical and virtual desktop tidy.
Shockingly Unproductive
  • Studies show that employees spend more than five hours per day reading and replying to emailsWhile it may seem like urgent work, email is not the best kind of work.
Facilitate Deep Work

A few smart strategies that can be deployed:

  1. Installing pods for deep work while having common areas for collaborative work.
  2. Wearing headphones that are easily seen to signal that you are not to be disturbed.
  3. Turning your office into a library, following the same culture of quietness where everyone is hushed and respectful.
Email is not Real Work

Real work, by definition, should be rare, valuable and cognitively demanding.

Email does not check any of these boxes, and is, therefore, a pseudo work.