Deep Work Is Effective Work

Nearly everyone you meet will describe themselves as busy or too busy, but business is not the objective. What we want is the most effective way to get the work done in order to achieve our objective. That’s why deep work is effective work.

In his book entitled Deep Work: Rules For Focussed Success In A Distracted World Cal Newport described the system of deep work as the way to achieve something that is essential but so often missing in the modern world. A clear mind that can generate new and original ideas that are hard for other people to replicate. This is the technique used by Gary Conroy of 5sqirrels the skincare development company. Not only is he allowing his staff a four day week but each day everyone blocks out two, two hour sessions during the working day to engage in deep work. During these two hours they are only able to be interrupted if there is a predefined business critical event. Other than that they are allowed to get on with good work without distraction. Famously, Bill Gates takes “think weeks” where he locks himself away without any distraction and it certainly doesn’t seem to have done him any harm!

In a world that often seems to be about distractions from dawn to dusk, uninterrupted periods of time enable great things to happen. There is even considerable scientific evidence that during this deep work myelin develops in the brain and this enables cells to fire quicker. This can often lead to increased problem solving abilities and also to creative thinking.

If you really want to work effectively then find a way to block off part of the day to enable uninterrupted work. This is another argument for at least partial work from home. The crazy notion of open plan offices or the constantly open door policy is designed to ensure that any work that gets done is not effective and certainly never deep as it is not possible to avoid distractions.

This blog is always written with phones turned off and email notifications silenced. I’m not claiming it always produces pearls of wisdom but it certainly helps me.

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