🌿 What is Deep Focus Work?
There’s a lot we could dive into here, however, let's touch on the basics of what deep focus work is and where the term came from.
So, what is deep focus work? ⬇️
Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work: Rules for focused success in a distracted world, first thought of this concept and wrote an entire book about it.
“Professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit.” - Cal Newport
👩💻 Essentially, deep focus work is the act of removing all distractions like your phone, social media, even the internet and more, in order to allow your mind to concentrate on the one task at hand.
By doing this, you can begin to enter a deep ‘flow state’ where your brain begins to rewire the way you work, meaning over time you'll find you are learning new skills faster, getting more work done, and enjoying the process.
💡Types of Focus Work
Deep - Removes all distractions, best for more in-depth tasks that take more time.
Shallow - Able to complete smaller tasks whilst having distractions around you.
✅ The Benefits of Deep Focus Work
Deep-focus work has more benefits than just getting the work done.
It’s way ‘deeper’ than that…
- During deep focus, you remove and avoid all distractions.
- You will gradually rewire the way your brain works, so entering a deep flow of work will become more natural.
- You’re always learning new things, and you'll learn quicker with deep focus work!
- Lengthy tasks will be completed faster.
- The sense of challenge is enjoyable!
- Reduce the chance of ‘attention residue’ - It takes your brain up to 20 mins to refocus once your attention has been stolen by your phone!
- Create higher quality work by developing better skills and entering full concentration.
✨ How to Practice Deep Focus Work
A lot of thought goes into practising deep focus work. If you sit down right now and tell yourself you will work for 90 minutes straight without distractions, it's probably not going to happen.
So, here's how to do it.
Choose a Philosophy.
Newport developed four different deep focus philosophies, you can choose one depending on your lifestyle, or how you'd like to work.
- Rhythmic -
Creating a routine dedicated to deep-focus work. Use the time-blocking method to schedule 1-4 hours every day. Applications like can be helpful for managing focus time.Rise
- Journalistic - Schedule around 90 minutes per day, wherever you have the time. This can be a little hard for beginners, since entering deep focus might take some time.
- Monastic - This is where you remove ALL distractions from life, entirely. This a super hard philosophy to follow in this day and age due to social media, emails, texting, calling…
- Bimodal - A more laid-back approach to the previous philosophy. Bimodal requires you to enter deep focus work for long amounts of time, days in fact. Once your deep focus work is over you can transition back into ‘normal’ life, carrying out shallow work.
🧠 It’s All In The Preparation (and your mind)
Your brain won't be able to enter deep focus sporadically, not to begin with anyway.
By creating a dedicated space, preparing for your work and other finer details, your mind will learn which signals are telling it to get ready for some focused work.
⭐️ Prep the following things:
- Where are you going to work? Create a dedicated space to work in, so when you enter that space your brain goes “time to work”.
- What are you going to be working on? Have a set task or project ready for you to begin focusing on.
- How long will you be in deep focus? Set a timer, or use time blocking to manage your deep focus work. You can prepare yourself in your mind to work for this amount of time.
- What do you need (notes, etc)? Have any notes or equipment you need with you. This avoids having to leave the space and risking distraction.
- Prepare human things like drinks, snacks, and stuff to keep you going. If you are going to be working for hours, you'll start to feel thirsty, hungry, or even need to move your body a little bit.
🏆 Remove Distractions and START
Now you have outlined how you're going to practice deep focus work, the only thing left to do is remove possible distractions as of right now, and start.
Put away your mobile, mute any conversations, snooze your email, anything you can think of that will make your mind wonder and take away your attention from focusing on your work.
Good Luck! 🍀
📝 Apps To Promote Deep Focus Work
📚 Helpful resources
Here’s a really great in-depth article about Deep Work.⬇️
Deep Work: The Complete Guide (Including a Step-by-Step Checklist)
Let's get right to the point: bouncing between your inbox, pointless meetings, and group chat notifications is no way to get ahead in today's information economy. These are markers of busyness not productivity. They won't help you to deepen your writing practice, master a programming language, or grow your business.