Focus Time

If someone was to ask you how well you concentrate what would you say?

How deep do you go?

Check this out from Professor Newport.

Deep Work: 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. Deep work is necessary to wring every last drop of value out of your current intellectual capacity. We now know from decades of research in both psychology and neuroscience that the state of mental strain that accompanies deep work is also necessary to improve your abilities.”

When you work, how focused are you?

Check my desk or where I’m creating and you’ll typically only see the resource at hand I need to work with. If it’s writing on a computer, its just the laptop. If its reading, its just the book. Everything else? Out of sight and out of mind. This allows me to quickly go into deep work mode.

What would help you to build your Deep Work muscles?

I used to make the error a lot of planning a 3 hour deep work session (all in one go) when I had not even built the discipline to consistently work for 15 minutes in an uninterrupted way.

On paper it looked great to schedule 'deep work' but in practice I needed to build this up over time.

Newport says:

“To produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction. Put another way, the type of work that optimizes performance is deep work.”

There is no need to go all or nothing on this. Start small…like really ridiculously small, and string those deep work wins together.



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