Deep Work


Deep work is a professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to the limit. The work creates new value, improve your skill and are hard to replicate. Shallow work is noncognitively demanding, logical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. They don't create much new value in the world and are often easy to replicate.

In the new economy with intelligent machines, to thrive one has to have the ability to quickly master new things and to produce at an elite level, both quality and speed. Deep work helps achieve both.

high quality work produced = (time spent) x (intensity of focus)

Distractions from social media, e-mails hinders out ability to do deep work. During deep work hours, don't use internet. The brain which has been constantly in connection with internet needs to be rewired. Hence, outside of deep work hours, reduce the use of internet to only bare minimum. Being busy is not being productive.

The mind achieves a state of flow during work - a state where it concentrates, does good work and we lost ourself in the work.

The four philosophies of deep work:

Ritualize your deep work. Plan when you will work and how long you will work, how you'll work once you start work (ex: shutdown internet during the time of work) and how you'll support your work (brain needs support for the required depth of work).

Schedule breaks from focus. Have downtimes. Downtime helps recharging the brain and it aids in insights by allowing the subconscious mind to do some work.

Don't always work alone - collaboration is required to exchange ideas. Think of deep work as a hub and spoke architecture where you can alternate between deep work and collaborative work.

Execute like a business.

When working on hard problems during deep work, the next step will not be obvious. Having structure to deep thinking helps here. Start by reviewing the available relevant information for solving the problem, figure out what you are finding or solving and progress throught the solution. Finally, review the answer which you have identified.

Quit social media. 80 percent of effect is due to 20 percent of possible causes. Find key activities supporting your goal and execute them.

How to know whether a work is shallow or not? Perform this thought experiment: Ask yourselves how long will it take (in months) a smart recent college graduate with no specialized training in my field to complete this task?

Schedule every minute.

Don;t work for long unstructured hours. It leads to exhausation. Structure your day. Have a fixed schedule productivity - finish your work by five thirty.