We all have things we want to do; projects to complete, products to develop or enhance, ideas we need to work on. We don’t just want to finish those things. We want to do that as quick and as efficient as possible.
All of this needs work — lots of work — hard, effective work. But we all have limited hours in our days for those projects and ideas.
So how can you get them done without sacrificing tons of hours? How to truly leverage your time? How to finish tasks in significantly less time?
The answer is: Deep Work. In order to execute like the entrepreneur you aspire to be, you must focus on doing Deep Work and avoid wasting your so-called ‘busy time’ doing shallow work. Which is as ineffective as exercising and not bothering to eat and sleep well.
What Is Deep Work And Why Is It Essential For Success?
Deep work is when you get so immersed in your work, having laser-sharp focus. It’s that feeling when your mind is alerted and you act like a machine, diving deeply on difficult problems. When time feels still and every move you make is purposeful.
But why is it a must for success? You see, we live in The Age of Distractions. Literally. From social media and the distracting news to the ocean of information on the internet. It became extremely difficult to focus on doing quality work, and you need to do effective-valuable work in order to succeed and stand-out in your field, amongst all the noise.
To become successful you need to master hard things (valuable set of skills), so you can work and produce at an elite-level that people will admire greatly.
4 Steps to Implement Deep Work Into Your Life
The new law of productivity is: High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent)(Intensity of Focus)
“Deep work is hard and shallow work is easier and in the absence of clear goals for your job, the visible busyness that surrounds shallow work become self-preserving” — Cal Newport.
Deep Work isn’t about working harder — and longer — but smarter. It’s how you manage your attention to enter the state-of-flow and get things done in time.
1-Make It A Habit
Make Deep Work a habit, schedule in advance few-hours everyday to concentrate in doing quality-work. This way your Deep Work is sustainable and easy to adapt to a predictable-routine, which also helps in reducing your resistance.
By making it a habit, you’ll to tap quicker into the flow state, and it will become second nature to you.
Try to schedule the first 4-hours of the day for Deep Work when the world is calm.
And always remember; when it’s time for Deep Work, just start. Don’t overthink it — cut the bs distractions — and just start.
2- Execute Like A Top Entrepreneur
Stop wasting time on work.
Seriously. Shallow work is even more dangerous than not doing anything. Because in this way you’ll be blind to see that you’re actually doing next-to-nothing.
You think you’re working hard and doing great, but actually you’re not. I find myself drifting to shallow work often, and what worked for me is to always take a step back and look at my business from a bird’s eye view. The full-perspective view allows me to see if I’m really moving the needle for my business, or if I’m just running in place.
Always ask yourself; is this moving my business forward? Or am I just wasting my time? Be effective and execute like a top entrepreneur who knows exactly what to do next — and when you know what to do — do it effectively.
If you don’t actively cut-out distractions in your work-period, what supposed to be Deep Work turns to shallow-unproductive work.
So make a ritual of shutting-off everything which is not work-related (shut notifications if you need your phone), make the work-space attractively inviting, make a cozy cup of coffee, put everything you’ll need in the work-period within hands reach, and don’t allow any interruption to even peek at you.
“Interruption, even if short, delays the total time required to complete a task by a significant fraction.” — Cal Newport.
I hate distractions. A lot. So at the end of May, I deleted my social media apps in a detox-experience, and I must say I’ve never been more productive.
Isolate yourself—for a while at least—it’s the best thing you can do for your career.
“Be alone, that is the secret of invention. Be alone, that is when ideas are born.” — Nikola Tesla.
4-Use Downtime to Enhance Deep Work Efforts
Don’t just work smarter, but also relax smarter.
Relax smarter, better, and truly benefit from rest. You need to master the skill of rest the same way you do the skill of Deep Work. This will help clear your mind, and a clear mind is essential for Deep Work.
Clearing your mind can be from within like with meditation or journaling, or your surroundings like cleaning a chaotic room, organizing things, or finishing small tasks.
Always remember; when you’re done with your work — you’re done, and when it’s time to rest— it’s time to rest.
Quick tip; pick a goal in every Deep Work session, and set an end time. This way you’ll tap into the flow easier and crush your mental resistance.
Deep Work is what differentiates the average from the high-achievers. It’s what Bill Gates used to program the foundation of Microsoft in 8-weeks of intense focus, and what J.K Rowling used to finish the last book of the Harry Potter series.
Deep Work is truly the most valuable skill you can attain in your life, especially in this Age of Distractions. It’s the one thing that can take you from average to great and make you compete with the best.