In the first part of Deep Work, Cal Newport defines what deep work is and makes a case for why the world needs it. I read this part but since I already had a fairly good idea about the definition and didn’t need convincing, I didn’t linger over Part I.
The second part of the book was where the meat was and I have spent a lot more time there. He has four rules of deep work. Rule #1 is… wait for it… Work Deeply.
“The key to developing a deep work habit is to move beyond good intentions and add routines and rituals to your working life designed to minimize the amount of your limited willpower necessary to transition into and maintain a state of unbroken concentration.” P. 100
He then goes into some ideas on creating those types of routines and rituals. Some of his ideas were new to me and were helpful to think through. For instance, I get up early because I am a morning person and do my best work in the mornings. However, I have been squandering a lot of that good time in frivolous things. So I’m rethinking my morning routines, reading articles such as How to Set Yourself Up for a Productive Day, Bookend Your Days: The Power of Morning and Evening Routines (morning routines are for women, too!), Establish a Consistent Morning Routine: Maximize Your Mornings, and 6 Elements of a Powerful Morning Routine
Another point Cal Newport makes in this section is that being “lazy” at times actually helps your deep work and creativity. By leaving work behind for a few hours a day, you give your brain a chance to work on things in the background and come up with new ideas for problems you are seeking to solve.
I think also that time spent reading and thinking about non-work things gives you a chance to refuel your mind so that you have a constant flow of new thoughts and ideas to chew on.
Do you have any morning routines that help you work more effectively and/or use your time more wisely? I’d love to hear about them.