Deep work is great, people. It really, well, works. Today I received an email from a client asking to respond within the hour how long it would take me to translate 10 1-page .pdfs. So I went ahead and simply translated them within that hour I was supposed to spend thinking about the speed of my translation.
To be fair, the 10 files had a lot of repetitive parts. But to be doubly fair, there was a lot of fussing with the format. They all had complicated headers and some handwriting. One would need this part underlined, those two bold-typed and other three italicized, while another required the first two be left alone, the other two put in a larger font, and the last 3 italicized and bold-typed.
For deep work, you have to train yourself to go into stretches of profound, trance-like concentration. It doesn’t happen at once. It’s like running a marathon. You train, and train, and train, and then you are ready.
I’m starting a deep work challenge here on the blog. I’ll share daily activities that will prepare us to work deeper and accomplish more in less time. You know that unpleasant, sticky feeling where you’ve worked all day but can’t really say what it is you’ve actually done? Deep work is a cure for that.
The author of the book where I found the idea of deep work is Cal Newport. It’s a great book and I highly recommend. But the activities are all mine. Except one that I did find in Newport’s book but I’ll credit him once I get to it.
Prepare! The challenge begins tomorrow. We’ll get ourselves more focused and ultimately much freer.