I’ve been reading a fantastic book lately called Deep Work by Cal Newport. While I was already familiar with a lot of the concepts- such as blocking out long uninterrupted time frames to devoted to a single tasks (to create flow), and minimizing distraction- the book formalizes a lot of these processes into concrete methodologies which are scientifically proven to be effective in creating better output and happiness.
I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in increasing their output and doing what he terms “knowledge work” (like writing or research).
Now comes time to implement this in my life.
I’ve downloaded an app called “Focus” for my computer, and have made a habit of now turning off my phone while timing and logging these deep work sessions, which can last anywhere from 1-4 hours.
So far it’s going pretty well. I’ve gotten quite a lot done in the last two days since formalizing this practice. I don’t think I was particularly bad at focusing before, but it does take some concentration to be able to resist the urge not to break off into more “fun” respites, like facebook, while the timer is on. I’m looking forward to seeing the results as I continue on.
Next, I’m quietly disengaging from a lot of my social media life.
This is a tricky one- as sharing my work online has become extremely valuable to me in terms of personal fulfillment and branding.
I plan to continue doing this by pre-scheduling posts in this blog the night before, then limiting my email/social media checks to twice a day- one morning and one night. I’m hoping by reducing these interruptions throughout the day I can accomplish more writing and also invest more in my real-world relationships and passion projects instead.
Check out this very interesting article on the concept of digital minimalism by the author on his blog (Take the concept of minimalism one step further into the digital realm and there you have it. It sounds like what it means.). It’s a very interesting conversation- it may be something you are interested in implementing in your own life.