Deep Work is a way of working that at first sounds quite simple and easy to implement. However, the execution of Deep Work requires a lot of discipline and concentration. Aspects of the flow state also describe the state to strive for and achieve in the deep state of work. We’ll show you what Deep Work is, why it is so relevant especially in these times but still so hard to implement and give you simple tips on how to get yourself into Deep Work mode in a short amount of time.
What is Deep Work?
Cal Newport, developer of the concept of Deep Work and author of the best-selling book “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” defined Deep work as follows:
“Professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.”– Cal Newport
Above all, avoiding distractions is one of the key factors that create the state of Deep Work and lead to the goal described in the second sentence.
Why is Deep Work so relevant in today’s world?
Optimizing productivity has never been more important than in today’s world. It’s all about adapting to new situations as quickly as possible. One of the factors of success is productive work. Deep Work promotes this same factor. By focusing only on one subject and turning off everything around us, we automatically increase our productivity and at the same time the quality of our work.
We all know it: we turn on our smartphone, check the news and social media, maybe find some nice photos to look at and BANG – half an hour has passed. Distractions have become an absolute killer due to smartphones and social media when it comes to concentrating and focusing at work. With the right use of Deep Work, you can completely block out potential distractions and dedicate 100% of your time to your work.
Automations gradually replace the manual work that a worker must otherwise perform. The employee must focus less on manual work and has more time and opportunities to devote to cognitive tasks. To solve these in the best possible way requires concentration and absolute focus, which in turn leads us to the topic of Depp Work quite fast – a relevant topic in many respects, which makes work more fun and effective for every employee and thus also adds a great deal of value to the company.
By focusing only on one subject and turning off everything around us, we automatically increase our productivity and at the same time the quality of our work.
Methods for practicing Deep Work in the best possible way
Cal Newport has established 5 different philosophies for achieving the flow state:
1. The Monasticism Philosophy – avoid distractions.
The Monasticism Philosophy is primarily about avoiding all distractions by shutting yourself off from the outside world. Try to consciously decide that you will have no contact with the outside world for a set period. To do this, it’s best to turn off your smartphone so you don’t get any more messages that might keep you from the task at hand. So you retreat like a monk in a monastery and dedicate yourself only to this one task.
Ensure the avoidance of distractions with timeghost
Most of the time you don’t even realize that you are distracted. To identify distractions, you need to ask yourself more often during the day: “What am I doing at this moment?” If you don’t even notice that you’re on your phone instead of doing your work, you’ll never get into deep state of work.
With timeghost you are always aware of your time and the tasks you are working on. You can track your working hours by asking yourself what you are working on and assigning that task to a project as a time entry. The task is recorded in the timeghost Timer and you can regularly check what you have been working on lately.
2. Bimodal philosophy – for bigger tasks
This philosophy is especially suitable for large tasks that take several days to complete. Accordingly, you should be in the Deep Work phase for a longer period to successfully complete the task. So, you divide time periods in advance, in which you dedicate yourself only to this one task. For example, you can dedicate a 4-day weekend to Deep Work and schedule the rest of the week for open times. However, depending on the length of each task, scheduling can also be done on a quarterly or yearly basis! The approach here is that deep state of work leads to a significant increase in productivity, but only if the duration of Deep Work is over several days.
3. The Rhythmic Philosophy – planning Deep Work
The rhythmic philosophy takes the decision of when to do deep working away from you. You create a routine for yourself that you keep free specifically for Deep Work. By having this phase every day for a certain period, you don’t even have to think about when to do Deep Work. The time periods are ideally between three and four hours.
4. The Journalistic Philosophy – setting deadlines and goals
The journalistic philosophy aims at simulating deadlines. Journalists are under constant time pressure and deadlines in their daily work. For your work, you can also simulate deadlines by which your task should be completed. The most important thing is not to overestimate and at the same time not to underestimate yourself. It’s about to find a middle ground to challenge yourself in the best possible way. You will get into Deep Work faster and you will be able to reach your daily and weekly goals better.
5. Reward and breaks
Give yourself regular breaks and reward yourself when you reach a goal. The keyword here is to find a good relationship between tension and relaxation. Through relaxation you can gain new energy, work out new ways of thinking. The brain works like a muscle. It cannot be constantly strained, but needs forced breaks.
Especially in these times, Deep work is getting increasingly relevant. To use it effectively, first find out which method is best for you and the tasks you work on every day. Above all, make sure you don’t get distracted during flow. It’s best to set time slots in which you will engage in Deep Work and take regular breaks. By setting deadlines and goals, you can make your work more measurable and tangible. It makes the timing of rewards easier to define.
We believe that the most important point to enable the deep state of work at all is to avoid distractions. With our software, we offer you a tool that allows you to subconsciously ask yourself the question on a regular basis, “What am I doing right now?” This will help you quickly find out if you are currently engaged in the important task or doing something else.
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