The concept of deep work made sense with what we hear from those critiquing our high tech fast paced world. It’s not too different from the resistance we heard from the romanticists as the world hurled forth through the industrial revolution. We move too quickly, and we miss things around us. Deep work discussed not that we missed the beauty of the world, our former connection with nature, and he explained how we miss things in our work by having accelerated to our current speed.
This sounds familiar to me.
My church has a motto, “chess as the speed of checkers”. We make important big decisions and we have to make them very fast. And then we jump into implementation even faster. This is the antithesis or deep work. And to point out the flaw in my own churches motto I simply have to draw from my own experience with the actual game of chess. The game of chess I most recently played was beyond frustrating. I was considering about ready to fall on my own sword in shame for dishonoring my self by all the stupid mistakes i was making for Moving to fast. Perhaps I should not have been playing like it was checkers.
Deep work is a discipline that I am not nearly as successful in as I’d like to be. Much of this is my own fault. The life pace and major components that make up my schedule and career are of my own making and the nature of this is my mind to be split. I realize I am not unique in this. Our whole cohort is very busy and have multiple things going on through their week. But speaking of my own schedule, I currently have 4 jobs and am student in this Doctoral program. I don’t wear it as a badge of honor, it’s just simply the combination of all things I’ve all been passionate about and have hustled for. The book did take a moment to discuss a certain type of leader and a certain type of works that demands the bouncing around. Newport described one who can make decisions indifferent compartments very quickly, and I think I might be that type of person.
Sitting down with this book I found a few things that will certainly help my work.
I divide up my day in scheduled blocks and keep one type of work to that schedule job. This has drastically helped my deep work. For example, I intend from here on out to write all my blog in one sitting and set aside blocks of time for one particular project. This will help me not loose time in all the transition that it takes to switch your thinking and even the seconds that add up as you switch between windows.
This is not a perfect system. Often times I have to interrupt my chunks of time to meet with other people and flex into their schedule. Hopefully after the desperation of my start up wears off I can afford to be less flexible in scheduling meetings with what works for their schedule. Right now I got to make it happen though.
Ironically, as I write this now I am doing the exact opposite of Deep Work. I am currently in a coffee escaping from a graduation that is scheduled to be 3 hours long. My friend will text me when they are calling names and I will run in when my friend is called. So in the meantime I can, in a very distracted setting write a blog. And to bring more irony to all of it, I read this book in May because that’s when it was originally scheduled, it got delayed so now I’m writing this blog in June, I’ll probably edit once in August, and then submit it in October.
Before i took a advantage of this window of time and choose to be somewhat rude by escaping 85% of a way too long graduation service, I had scheduled a full week to try and take care of a handful of weeks of blogs in one setting. I have a very slow 2 weeks coming in the summer and my October – December is going to be unhealthily busy. So I’ve scheduled to apply a deep work week and shut my office door and close my blinds to get as much work done as possible.
What I liked about deep work is that thoroughness it went about teaching and proving its simple thesis. By the end of this book I considered it to be irrefutable. In light of being a full believer of this book and principles there are few more habits and rituals I’ve been thinking about implementing into my life.
- Add a daily review time. How did I do in my effectiveness in work that day?
- Move planning my day from the beginning of the day to the end of the day to plan out tomorrow. I’m not sure if I will like this but sometimes I have problem getting started in the morning because there is so much to do. When this happens a 10 minute morning walk is helpful to think through the most important parts of the day.
- Continue to write out my ideal weekly schedule. This is part of what has helped me SCHEDULE the deep work idea. Also I’ve submitted this to my mentor who is able to give insight into my life and where my life might have shifted away from being centered on Christ.