What is Deep Work?

The phrase was coined by Cal Newport, associate professor of Computer Science at Georgetown. He defines it as:

Activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive apabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.

Cal Newport

To be truly productive in this fast-paced environment, we need to minimise the shallow. Shallow work is when we feel like we didn’t get anything done at the end of the day. It is far less taxing to take meetings, respond to emails, surf the web and use social media. Deep thinking and deep work requires more. It requires focus and attention.

I like doing deep work in the earlier parts of the day. This gives me the best results.

Enemies of productivity

  • multi-tasking
  • task switching
  • being online/connected to electronic devices

Strategies to achieve & keep Deep Work state

  • Time Boxing
  • journalistic
  • setup rituals: spaces & boundaries
  • take care of mental energy

Emergency tip: Go cold-turkey and quit social media or shut off phone to get deep work done.

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Last Update: October 29, 2023