How well do you work?

Feb 13, 2023
Following on from last weeks post on ‘Are our smartphones making us stupider’, I read Deep Work by Cal Newport. This defines Deep Work as ‘Professional activities performed in a state of distraction free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill and are hard to replicate’.

Instead, many of us sentence ourselves to a career of Shallow Work which is ‘non-cognitively demanding, logistical style tasks, often performed while distracted. These efforts tend to not create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate’.

Cal published his book in 2016 before AI became a thing. AI will be much more efficient at Shallow Work leaving space for Deep Work to remain a human endeavour.

When you are at work how much time are you spending on the deep work and how much time being busy with the easy stuff?

When you are trying to concentrate on the important work, are you truly free from the distractions of pings from emails and messages. Do you manage to avoid the random internet searches ‘just to keep in touch’?

Maybe you cannot have a retreat tower like Carl Jung did but what can you do to create a space where you can fulfil your potential and be free of distractions?