It’s not lost on me that I’m blogging about Deep Work - one of my favorite books from 2018 - while I am not doing ANYTHING of the sort. Raising a newborn is HARD work - much harder than Deep work, but they fundamentally are two very different kinds of work.
And both are wonderful :).
Deep work, as Cal Newport defines it, is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.
I wanted to share two things that were my biggest take-aways from this book, that will hopefully inspire you and help you as much as they did me.
First of all, this is a great kick in the pants book! It’ll make you think deeply about how to get work DONE. And the why behind our work. If you missed it in last year’s book club, it’s worth a read this year!
Blocking your Time = Thoughtfulness
This is the first principle I wanted to share: the importance of blocking long amounts of time to get Deep Work Done. My favorite thing the author said regarding time blocking? It’s about being THOUGHTFUL. Time Blocking is simply a way of being thoughtful about your day, before it begins! I loved that. It removed some stress I associated with time blocking. “What if I’m interrupted? What if I don’t accomplish it all?” Who cares. I was thoughtful about my day before it began, I blocked the time to do the most important things, and that’s all you can do!
Okay this is nerdy but I love it. Cal Newport advises a Shutdown routine at the end of every day, starting about 30 minutes before you have to leave:
Review your emails to make sure there’s nothing urgent in your inbox
Review what you accomplished or didn’t accomplish
Re-write your list for tomorrow
Close your computer and say out loud, “SHUTDOWN COMPLETE!”
By saying it out loud, it signals to your brain: Do not go back to work. Do not open that computer up again. Your work is complete for today, so go be with your family.
I’ve done this a few times and goodness it works! I love it. You should try it :)
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