In the age of distraction, deep work is a moat. Some great perspective from Paras Chopra (with reference to Cal Newport’s book Deep Work).
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Yet modern work is all but conducive to focus. You have emails, meetings, slack and constant firefighting.
As leaders and founders, reasons to attend to urgent work daily are plenty. Work *always* finds you.
But the more important your work is, the more important finding the *right* kind of work becomes.
I’d start my work by opening my inbox and start replying to emails. Pretty soon, there’d be meetings to do and before you know it, the day would end.
And then chatter on Whatsapp starts.
How will you have breakthrough insights if your mind doesn’t have space to think?
How will you change the trajectory of your career and life if you’re always busy?
How will you get new ideas if you’re never reading?
Yet, resolving to do deep work doesn’t cut it. Our work is full of distractions and just like weight loss affirmations, deep work affirmation also doesn’t last long.
– I start the day with a 20-30 minute silent meditation.
When you wake up, you may have work-related random thoughts in your head and if you start your work like that, you’ll attend to random thoughts (and not be intentional).
– I typically turn to a blank sheet in my notebook and start writing my todo under two columns: IMPORTANT and URGENT.
I write IMPORTANT column first as otherwise URGENT takes over your entire mental space.
– My calendar is blocked until 5pm FOR MYSELF. I typically take no meeting before that.
No emails, no slack, no meetings. Just a pure block of time to do deep work.
This work typically comes from the IMPORTANT bucket.
So, for the meetings where I’m leading, majority of pre-work happens through documents (where people comment and ask questions asynchronously).
Final meeting is simply to get commitment
– Block time in your calendar for deep work where you do no meetings and don’t check emails
– Make todo daily and focus more on IMPORTANT more than URGENT
– Attending to your inbox makes you feel busy BUT you can do much more than that, can’t you?
Hope you enjoyed going through the thread.
Happy to answer any other question on deep work or productivity.