Our daily lives are characterized by completing our required tasks and assigned work on a regular basis. There are many ways to do your work effectively and productively. The nature of work, however, varies from job to job. New theories come up regularly as researchers around the world make every effort to make our work lives easier. For completing a job on time and with precision, the assistance provided by a free task management software can be of great help for anyone.
In this post, I will try to focus on a new theory put forward by Cal Newport, an assistant professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University. His new book “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” can be the game changer in terms of how we go about our daily tasks and how it can be done productively. Let me give you an insight to Cal’s theory and how it can be applied to not only in our professional but our daily lives as well.
The Brain Science: Decoding the Mystery
Cal Newport’s take on the brain science is fascinating to say the least. According to his theory, when we work on something for a longer period of time without distraction, fatty threads in our brains wire neurons together; can be termed as rewiring of the brain. These neurons bundles help us do our work faster, more effectively and skillfully. But the distraction in the work can stop this process and only restarts when we have fully regained focus on our work.
The above mentioned aspect is hampering the focus of some brilliant minds around the world and is a deterrent in making them a great innovator, a leading scientist or a creative artist. So what can be done in order to make them focus on their work and start getting the maximum output from them? That’s where the theory of “Deep Work” Comes into place.
Deep Work: The Theory and Its Implications
In simple terms, “Deep work is the type of effort required to master complicated new skills and to produce at a high level.” So it’s obvious that frequent distractions can severely limit the outcome of any task. According to Newport, his own life and processes were improved by researching and writing the book on this topic. In his own words, “I enjoyed diving deeper into the thinking behind why this activity can be so enjoyable and make your life feel more meaningful. It provided a nice boost to my own ongoing efforts to sustain a deep life.”
Any company or organization needs a systematic way of completing tasks and I am sure the firm in which you work is also no exception. If you want to get more done by “going deep”, you must consider these systems – and encourage your team to do the same.
Dedicate Time for Deep Work
Dedicating time doesn’t mean that you have to complete a task within a day without fail. Blocking off 2-4 hours at stretch for keeping full focus on any task is what is required. During this period, distractions of any kind must be avoided, including cell phone, emails, social media accounts, etc. Only in this way you can think of starting the deep work. Your next target should be increasing the time you need to block off and work in longer stretches.
Get on the Same Page with your Team
Every one of us works in a team. Even if you are a manager, you are heading a team that will do the required tasks that you are supervising. So it’s important for a person to make sure everyone around him know that he is trying to work hard. While blocking off a chunk of time can be really annoying for everyone around you, especially if they need your guidance or if you are answerable to someone, that’s where the management of the firm needs to make sure that every member of the team is on the same page.
In the start of the process, people do worry about the consequences of dedicating time for deep work. This can give others the impression that you are working selfishly and are always busy in your own shell, working just for own good. You need to eliminate this impression if you want to be a team-player. Make them understand that it’s all about putting your attention and energy on the work you are assigned and nothing else.
Set up Office Hours for Meetings and Calls
While it can be surprising for your co-workers or even for the management in the start, you need to dedicate enough time for the office meetings and other stuff alongside your deep work routine. This can be done easily, according to Cal Newport. An employee can have a 30 minute “office hour” every 2-3 hours during the work day. During that little period, he can be fully accessible through every medium like email, phone and messaging softwares. But outside this little window, he cannot be reached. This will be somewhat annoying at first for everyone in the department/company, but eventually, with time, everyone will get used to this routine.
Make Open Offices work for you
People working in an open office are surrounded by people around them all the time. Factors like privacy and space for an employee, especially for female employees, can be limited. So you need to act in a fashion so that everyone around you automatically know that you are busy and don’t want to be interrupted. Using the headphones is a nice way to demonstrate that to everyone. This also holds true for making everyone know you are involved in deep work and nobody should disturb you within the specified time.
There are times when employees look to really nail a task but need space or work entirely in a place where no one can disturb him. This can be impossible in an open office environment. So the best thing for these employees can be work-from-home. But asking the management for the same in clear words can be a little rude. So why not trying this line to your manager, “Hey. I want to do something great for the upcoming quarter and have a plan too. Can I get to work at home and come on the next day with a detailed layout of what I have in mind?” See, there are many ways to do a thing right.
The Deep Work phenomenon is still new and doesn’t expect it to be everywhere you go in this year. But it is the future of doing tasks and daily routine work in a far better fashion.
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