Deep Work

Posted on Oct 6, 2020

  • Shallow work -> ⬇️ value and easy to replicate, for example powerpoints presentation, reports etc…
  • Deep work -> ⬆️ value and hard to replicate

There is a new economy knowledge workers

  1. high skilled workers -> fast learners
  2. superstar -> people who master a single skill -> specialists
  3. owners -> 💰

To master or learn fast, you need to focus.

Attention residue: when switching tasks -> how much your mind is still thinking in the old task -> We should minimize it

Different ways to practices deep work

  1. Monastic: get a long chunk of time (say 1 week or 1 month) and divide it in two, the first half you do your normal shallow work, the second half you just disappears and you do the best possible work during this time frame
  2. Rhythmic: you try to make an habit of deep work with daily goals, for example every day write 100 words of your novel.
  3. Journalist: Try to use any idle time to do deep work… be prepared for it.

Ritualize it

If you want to make an habit you have to think when and what are you going to do. if not, you are basicly just day-dreaming.

  • Where and When you will work?
  • How you’ll work
  • What are you going to do?

Execute like a business

  • Focus on the wildly important: know what is the outcome of your work
  • Act on lead measures: for tracking of your progress, use leading metrics -> they gonna affect the goal -> you can control them
  • Keep a compelling scorecard: keep track of the hours in focus on the full year, day by day. find patterns etc…
  • Create a cadence of accountability: create like a “retro” for yourself, where every x amount of time you review your goal and how are you doing

Take care of you 🧠

  • don’t get addicted to distractions, be like an athlete -> don’t eat chocolate cause there is a bigger goal.
    • if you are waiting for the bus, don’t use your phone. -> be with your thoughts -> will help with your concentration
  • get a deep piece of work, estimate it -> commit to a much less time -> this way you will have to cut some shallow work to do it.
Quit social media
  • choose your tools carefully, as a craftsmanship would do… -> balance pros and cons of each social network
  • put more thought in your leisure time -> plan what to do with your free time -> if you don’t do that, then you will do whatever is easier and entertain you -> social network etc..

Drain the shallow

  • 37 signal, did an experiment of 30 hours of work time. most of the work was still done

    • How? people trait time more carefully , meetings not really important were canceled
    • restrictions of time -> will remove shallow work]
  • Threat shallow work as suspicious

    • is understimated the damage?
    • or the importance is overstimated
  • Schedule every minute of your day

    • try to estimate how much time will take every task in your day
    • understand your biases about time taken by shallow work
    • treat time with respect
  • Quantify How deep is need for a task?

    • most tasks seems important, but if you look closer, most of them are shallow work
    • rule of thumb. How much time will take for a new person to be able to do that task?
  • Ask your boss for shallow work budget

    • Have a conversation about how much shallow work you are doing
    • You boss should be inclined to let you do more deep work
    • at the end is were you add more value