Maintaining a work life balance is vital to our lives. This is only possible when we take care of both these aspects of our lives. Our professional life in particular benefits greatly when we do all our tasks with focus. This undivided attention is what improves our production and is hence a vital part of deep work rules. But what exactly is deep work?
What is deep work?
Deep work is a concept introduced by Cal Newport. It is characterized by scheduling time spans when we decide to do a task with full focus. A deep work rule is to set up a distraction free environment for the same. This creates an environment for better concentration thus improving the quality of your work.
10 deep work rules for the best deep work session
The below deep work rules will help you begin your first successful deep work session.
1. Reducing distractions is the most important deep work rule
In this list of deep work rules, this one is all about creating a distraction free environment during deep work. Distractions like social media notifications, emails, etc deter our productivity like nothing else. This in turn ruins time efficiency too. With the distraction free environment created during deep work, one can use these deep work rules as a tool for productivity.
2. Turn your notifications off
The various notifications we receive everyday like a text, a call, an email interrupts and distracts us from work. Putting our notifications off and focusing on the task at hand is an important deep work rules for productivity. Since interruptions also increase the amount of time taken to complete a task, they form a major obstacle. Using deep work rules and a schedule can greatly increase time efficiency.
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3. Make these deep work rules a habit
The right habits can turn one’s life around . No task is difficult if we form a habit out of it. Deep work can sound impossible because of the amount of focus one needs to put into it. But it becomes all too easy with practice and dedication. Allowing yourself to try out a few deep work sessions using these deep work rules helps you to get used to the idea of deep focus. This is one of the many important deep work rules.
4. Form a deep work routine
Routines can work like magic when setting out on one’s deep work journey. With certain routines and rituals set up, one can motivate their brain to feel more focused and rewarded with increased productivity. This helps you inculcate all deep work rules in your life.
The types of routines one chooses is limited only to imagination. A few examples of such routines are:
- Choosing a specific place for deep work
- Setting a particular time of the day for all your deep work sessions
- Reciting the goal of the session out loud before the session begins
- Writing down goals of the session
- Using stationary dedicated to deep work
5. Let the emails wait
Emails are an important means of communication in the corporate world. But these tend to distract us over and over from our tasks at hand. Thus they form a huge obstacle during our deep work sessions. Putting the notifications off is an easy way of warding off emails but what does one do if we miss an urgent email?
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6. Understand what deep work form is yours
Newport introduced us to four basic deep work rules to choose from. These forms are based on the amount of time and frequency one can practice deep work for. These forms are designed to fit the schedules of different people for better time efficiency.
One can identify the form appropriate for them by understanding their own schedule in comparison to these 4 forms:
- The monastic (long uninterrupted periods of working, i.e. a week, a month)
- The bimodal (multi-day depth binges, say from Friday-Sunday)
- The rhythmic (habit-based approach that creates daily routines — see chain method, daily schedule.)
- The journalistic (finding short depth periods during a fluctuating schedule — best for those already confident in their abilities).
7. Mix your routine up to put life in your deep work rules
Our daily routines and habits can benefit us greatly in the form of allowing discipline to our daily life and tasks. But this routine also sets us up for stagnation of focus and creativity. Surprising ourselves and our attention by doing something out of our routines can help us get out of this rut. This can also be used as a tip for productivity and deep work rules.
Changes as simple as changing the room in which you practise deep focus or changing the time of your sessions acn work wonders too. Or even huge changes like shifting your deep work sessions to a secluded place or a scenic place or even a hotel room can give you the change you desire. These changes are an important inclusion in the deep work tips.
8. Rest to replenish
The focus demanded by deep work might not require physical energy, but it does need mental strength. This demand can be very exhausting on our energy levels and hence rest is essential. Relaxing by walking through nature or listening to your favourite music or meditation, can help replenish your energy levels. This much needed rest will prepare you for your further deep work sessions as you use these deep work tips.
9. Prioritize your focus
With the trend of digital detox in our midst, we have now started to take breaks from our constant distractions. As opposed to that we must strive to make focus our constant state of mind, and take breaks from it instead.
Newport suggests that we must “take breaks from focus, not from distraction.” This basically means that instead of blocking all distractions, we must try to control them instead. Setting a schedule for when we can use our devices and deciding to not use them otherwise, can help us put this to practice. These deep work rules also helps us achieve better time efficiency.
10. Embrace the challenge of deep work
Deep work IS challenging. Focusing entirely on one task without paying attention to any distractions can be very difficult. But the result of an improved quality of work is worth all the efforts. Embracing these deep work tips with resilience is what determines the success of your deep work methods.
Use these deep work rules for better productivity
Deep work can be highly useful in sharpening our focus and thus improving our productivity. With no distractions in sight, it gets easier to direct all our attention to our tasks at hand. This betters the quality of our work as we consistently follow deep work rules along with proper time management tools.