What is “Deep Work” and Why Is It Needed?

Posted by Creatiq Support | Friday, February 22, 2019

What is “Deep Work” and Why Is It Needed?

Posted by Creatiq Support | Friday, February 22, 2019

You do not want your company considered “average” in the business world. Instead, leaders aim to create meaningful enterprises with high creativity and high profitability. To craft a business that is above the ordinary, you and your workers must embrace the concept of “deep work”. Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, says individuals have forgotten the importance of dedicated concentration and do not often practice it. Yet, it is deep work that produces the most valuable understanding and ideas that lift you, your workers and your company above the typical.

It is helpful to consider “shallow work” in order to truly understand “deep work”. Shallow work is possible for simple, easily repeatable tasks that perform a specific function but offer nothing new. You can perform this type of work without much cognitive action. Often considered “busy work”, you can complete these projects as you “multi-task” (where you switch rapidly between activities). For example, shallow work might consist of time spent answering your phone, checking email and putting data into a spreadsheet. These are all things that need doing but are not the work that will produce the most value for your business.

“Deep work”, conversely, helps you develop ideas and practices that elevate your thinking, improves your actions and sharpens your business skills. Be aware that performing this type of work is difficult and stretches persons to the limits of their cognitive power and endurance. It requires real commitment and consistent participation.

Learning how to concentrate for long periods of time is a process. You will probably need to build up stamina to enter and stay in the “state of flow”. This is the condition at which you perform at your highest level. It generally takes 25 minutes of concentrated effort to enter this fluid condition in which you are fully engaged, completely focused and “in the zone” with everything “clicking”. You know how great and productive it is if you have ever enjoyed the “state of flow” and realize how valuable it is to create this state at will.

Take these steps to learn how to perform “deep work”. First, resolve to exercise your “focus muscle” regularly. Schedule a block of time (start with a half hour and build toward a maximum of four hours) in which you operate without interruption. Pick a quiet location, solitary if possible, to complete your endeavor. Consider wearing noise cancelling headphones when you must work in an open space occupied by others. Prevent distractions as much as possible and exert your willpower to stop yourself from checking messages or social media during this time (remember, even seconds long breaks on other enterprises can prevent or destroy your “state of flow”).

Prioritize the work you must accomplish. Do not spend “deep work” time on the daily or weekly routine tasks that do not require intense concentration. Know that you will change and grow as you continue to engage in “deep work”. As you become more proficient at entering the “state of flow” you will find yourself understanding complex material at a quicker rate. You will read faster, digest material on a deeper level and your brain’s neurons will fire rapidly and more often. Challenge yourself to reach lofty goals and achieve grand successes by committing to “deep work” and reap extraordinary success.