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DeepWork and how it can affect your productivity

Neuroscientists have observed that intense periods of focused and isolated periods of work cause “myelin” to be released in relevant parts of the brain.

In the book “DeepWork” by Cal Newport., Cal defines Deep Work as:

“Professional activities performed in a distraction-free environment that pushes your cognitive abilities to the limit. These skills create new value, improve skills, and are hard for others to replicate.”

On the other hand , Shallow work can be defined as :

Non‐cognitively demanding, logistical‐style tasks that can be completed in a semi‐distracted state. Shallow work includes answering emails, sorting documents, and running errands. The less engagement your work requires, the more shallow it is.

How deepwork works:

Neuroscientists have observed that intense periods of focused and isolated periods of work cause “myelin” to be released in relevant parts of the brain.

Myelin is a white tissue that develops around neurons and allows brain cells to work faster . So by practicing deep work, we are upgrading our brain to perform tasks with better speed and performance both.

Deep Work Ritual Requirements

D: Dedicated workspace Your ritual needs to specify a location for your deep work efforts. This location can be as simple as your normal office with the door shut and desk cleaned off.

E: Exact end time Give yourself a specific time frame to keep the session a discrete challenge and not an open‐ended slog.

E: Easy-starting sequence Your ritual needs rules and processes to keep your efforts structured. Without this structure, you’ll have to mentally litigate again and again what you should and should not be doing during these sessions and keep trying to assess whether you’re working sufficiently hard.

P: Power‐ups Your ritual needs to ensure your brain gets the support it needs to keep operating at a high level of depth.

How to deep in work

Schedule Distractions: It is important that you draw boundaries on your distractions. Make a fixed time for attending to distractions and hold your focus on your work until then.

Develop a deep work ritual: Scheduling chunks of deep work in an ad hoc manner does not yield much productivity at all. To get maximum productivity from deep work, schedule it alternatively with periods of shallow work. Have a reoccurring time to go into deep work each day or each week. Early morning is typically the best time to do this. The ultimate goal should be to plan deep work rituals to build up the sum of deep work practices to 4 hours a day. Try the Pomodoro method.

Evening Shutdown Ritual: Sleep is the interest we pay on loans of intense focus required to do deep work. Cal suggests that every evening you make a list of unfinished tasks and their plan of action. This should be done so that once you get things off your mind, you are more likely to get a sound sleep.

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