- What is Deep Work?
- How do we get it?
- And how deep work can change our life?
In this article you will learn not only everything core concept included in this “Deep Work” book but also the importance of deep work, the way to do it and how will your life change because of it. Before telling “what is Deep work”, let’s talk about the book itself.
“Deep work” is one of the great self-help books written by the author Cal Newport. In January 2016, “Grand Central Publishing” group published the book. Although the book is good and everyone should read it, the sale amount of the book isn’t a skyrocket compared to other best-selling books. It’s only 200,000 copies all over the world. However, in my opinion, this book is a hidden treasure that everyone should read and follow for this modern-day. I think that’s enough for the background of the book and let’s talk about our first question “What is Deep Work”.
What is Deep Work?
There are two types of work according to the book. These are shallow work and deep work. By explaining with my understanding, shallow work is the work that we do usually. Like you are writing content for your job, but fifteen minutes later, you check your phone notification, hence it’s ringing. Then a few minutes later, you continuously check your mail or social media. Sometimes you make a call to a colleague or a friend cause you remember something to say. You are not fully focusing on one task which is your first priority. And keep doing other things simultaneously. This is called shallow work which we all do repeatedly in these modern disrupted days.
The second is deep work. A famous example of it is Bill Gates’s think weeks. There he isolates himself and does nothing but read and think big thoughts. Another example of it is some famous authors take a few months to only focus on their writing. They isolate themselves from replying to emails, taking phone calls, and being active on social media. Instead, they made the deep work which is only focusing on a single task for a time.
Now you might know the definition of Deep work and its opposite work which we do usually in our life, let’s move on to the next question “How do we get Deep work”.
How do we get Deep work?
There is one problem to do Deep Work. Since we all are used to shallow work, our brains want to change more and more exciting things from time to time. That’s why we usually keep checking our phone and disturbing cause doing a single task is kinda bored. However, if we follow these four rules from the books, I believe we all can get it. So…
Rule One: Shutdown Routine
What is Shutdown Routine? It’s simple. After finishing our days or after your working period, just shut down everything you need to do. These may be your unfinished task, your unfinished goals but just added them into tomorrow’s to-do list. Let your brain and your mind rest for a night. Just shut down that can exhaust your brain. There is two reasons why a shutdown routine is necessary to get Deep work.
- It aids Insights
- It helps to recharge your brain and energy for tomorrow
But there is one mystery in this shutdown routine. Can you do watching TV or scroll infinite Facebook newsfeed during your resting time? The answer is NO because both of these two can exhaust your brain. Especially most of the news and the post from social media can even be toxic and these are junk for your brain. But there is an exception. You can read and take journalling about you memo of a day. These are more helpful to relax your brain and more appropriate in your Shutdown Routine.
Rule Two: Embrace Boredom
The reason that we don’t usually do deep work is that it’s boring. Just imagine you are just doing a single task without having exciting new things. It’s kinda boring and our brain doesn’t like it. That’s why in these modern days, we like shallow work cause if we get bored, we check something new and excited. The best way to embrace this boredom is through meditation. You see meditation is kinda boring either. You are just focusing your breath in and breath out without doing or thinking anything or without judgment. But it’s the only and best way to get deep work. Otherwise, our brain will love more to the shallow work as usual. To know about meditation more, I highly suggest reading another summary book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.
Rule Three: Quit Social Media
This rule is simple, but hard to do especially in this pandemic lockdown period. There are many things better than social media even if you are alone. Using social media can have advantages like personal brand building, monetization, and communication. However, if we use more than is needed, our brains are more and more adductive to them. So my personal suggestion for this rule is you can use social media to do deep work as I do. But don’t overdo it. Keep tracking your social media time and make no social media days at least once a week. Just name it an empty day, enjoy the reality and your present moment at that day.
Rule Four: Drain Shallow
The final rule is “Drain Shallow”. So how do we drain shallow work? It’s actually a habit. In order to ride off a bad habit, I like to point out the following quotes –
“The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.”Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
So this is it. YOU CANNOT EXTINGUISH Shallow work habit. Instead, change it from bit by bit. First tried to work without distruption for 30 minutes then hours then keep increasing your time. But beware of social media to close during your working period. Cause it will be the most disrupting thing to get deep work.
So now you know how to change from shallow work to deep work with the rules above. Let’s talk about how deep work can change our life?
How deep work can change our life?
In this 21 century, we all do shallow work. So our life and works are not as productive as they should be. Our mental get usually exhausted because of shallow work. So imagine you are a black sheep in working culture and because of deep work habits you will be more productive and your task and jobs will be done easily and effectively. Your time will also save and you will get more to enjoy your life. You will be more aware of your present and free from the feeling of unfinished. Your mental health will be better so do your physical health. It’s like you are holding a superpower in these modern days. This is how deep work is powerful and can change our life.
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