The Psychology of Deep Work

If leadership begins with who you are rather than what you do, when and how do you escape the noise of our times to identify your purpose and summon the strength to follow it, according to business expert Jim Collins? This terms actually summarises the concentration on deep work.  

I confronted my divided thinking a few years ago. I couldn’t concentrate for long after the second day of a deep dive retreat. Let’s just say my thinking was fragmented, dispersed, or whatever metaphor you want to use; it didn’t feel whole and seamless anymore. We need solo time for deep work as knowledge workers, thought leaders, and creative professionals. But what if you make the time but are unable to concentrate? So how to manage deep work routine?

Cal Newport’s 2016 book Deep Work explores the art of deep work. Newport is a well-known computer scientist with a large body of work. He’s established three main principles in Deep Work to assist explain why he’s been so effective delivering influential research. The Hypothesis of Deep Work, Minimalist digital design, and the Theory of Attention Capital. The capacity to conduct deep work is becoming increasingly rare at the same time that it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy, according to Cal. As a result, the few who cultivate this expertise and make it the centre of their professional lives will prosper.

Cal uses tales from individual case studies as well as scientific material in neuroscience to demonstrate why deep work is successful in improving work quality. He also looks into the trends that are making this skill more difficult to master. Consider the constantly connected modern working environment, our inability to focus without checking our cell phones, and social media behaviour trends. Deep work is a high-leverage technique since it enhances the quality of your job while also fostering soft skills that are slowly eroding.

Deep Work is divided into two sections. The first section contains three chapters on deep work. The second section contains four rules for deep work.

Part-1 of the Deep work

Newport uses real-life tales in Chapter 1 from part 1 to introduce readers to “deep work” and explain why he believes it will become more important and remain unaffected by technology.

Deep work is a type of work that is both creative and concentrated, as well as deeply human. It isn’t scheduling meetings, responding to emails and Slack messages, coordinating materials, or any of the other tasks that consume and fragment the day of the modern information worker. Rather, it’s the work we accomplish when we have the opportunity to set aside distractions and focus only on a major task.

Using examples from Facebook, Twitter, and IBM, Chapter 2 of Part 1 argues that deep work is becoming increasingly rare. Several culprits, including open workplaces, instant messaging, email, and social media, are blamed, according to him. Despite the evidence that deep work is beneficial, modern corporate leaders have devalued it in comparison to other values. One issue is that the cost of serendipitous collaboration, quick communication, and a social media presence is difficult to quantify. We don’t have accurate analytics to tell us whether path will produce the best results (more serendipity or solitary deep work).

Part-2 of the Deep work

The second section contains the regulations that can assist you in doing more in-depth work. Newport claims that we spend the majority of our time fighting inclinations to do anything other than deep work, according to the first rule. The key to completing deep work is to establish routines, habits, and circumstances that facilitate it. The second rule is to embrace dullness, the third rule is to stop using social media, and the fourth rule is to drain the shallows.

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