Senior Learning and Development Advisor Jewish Care
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Practical Tips For Doing Deep Work

14th May 2018
Senior Learning and Development Advisor Jewish Care
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Cal Newport introduces some practices ways to deep work which to be honest have really strange names such as:

  • Monastic philosophy of deep work scheduling
  • bimodal Philosophy of deep work scheduling
  • Rhythmic philosophy of deep work scheduling
  • Journalistic philosophy of deep work scheduling

I will take a look at the Monastic philosophy hear briefly. Thia philosophy of deep work involves maximising deep efforts by eliminasting or radically minimizing shallow obligations. People who use this method identify an area they want to focus on and spend intense amounts of time mastering it at the expense of other things which they see as low priority. Cal uses two people to illustrate this philosphy, which are Donald Knuth, a computer scientist and science fiction writer Neal Stephenson. One commonality between the two of them is how little time they spend in social correspondence in order to focus on their deep work efforts. Just read these two quotes from both of them:

I have been a happy man ever since January 1, 1990, when i no longer had an email address. i'd used email since 1975, and it seems 15 years of email is plenty for a lifetime - Donald Knuth

Persons who wish to interfere with my concentration are politely requested not to do so, and warned I don't answer e-mail - Neal Stephenson

Maybe these stances are a bit too extreme for most of us, but the lessons are clear, work hard to minimise distractions that don't add value and increase the amount of time you spend focusing intensely on delivering valuable work. 

How can this be useful for l&d practitioners? Let's be honest there are times when you really need to do some serious work. Be honest with yourself and cut off social distractions and get down to work. A lot of our offices and maybe the coffee shop don't lend themselves to distraction free zones. neither is our propensity to constantly answer email and be seen on Twitter. Find time to get away from that and do some deep work.

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