deep work

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some of us know it better, some worse, and the rest haven’t heard or thought about it (or claims “i don’t need it”)

work ‘in the zone’ got popular immediately after world ended being enchanted by open spaces and mandatory offices, and got back to using rooms or - in XXI century - in “home offices”.

the fact that giants like Facebook or Apple still build huge offices and promote unconstrained mobility, availability and capability to forget about home given work is the most important thing you can do (hence “socializing” is as well), doesn’t change too much. most of us fares better when we can isolate ourselves from noise and constant interruptions (not to mention all kind of viruses, so proficiently distributed in todays offices by AC).

i’m avid geek about my own productivity. so, while using Trello i was able to observe than i was doing four-five times more at home than in the office.

i started to actually consciously observe that after reading great book - ‘Essentialism’. it’s great because it doesn’t only cover such rituals, but looks more widely into how we operate and function across our work and private life. there’s also much shorter and simpler ‘Deep Work’. it’s focused however on the business side of our life.

so… my thoughts? can be boiled down to following list:

  • find yourself time during day or night that will be totally off-limits for disruptions and people, even closest ones; build rule around it
  • make sure you communicate this to everyone you care about and who can disturb your zone
  • turn off phone or move it into ‘do not disturb’
  • turn off all applications in your OS, notifications and other features; some applications have special ‘focus’ mode
  • some of us can’t jump in and out of zone multiple times a day - it’s much better and more effective to block yourself 2-3 hours for one “sprint”; people working on hard scientific topics can work in the zone for 8-12 hours at a time
  • the place you choose to be in the zone should support your plan - be isolated, and if in the office - properly marked as ‘do not disturb’; you’ll avoid people knocking and asking ‘can i interrupt you?’ which can get frustrated

i can recommend both books, but if needed to choose one - ‘Essentialism’ seems more important. and now - get back to “zone” ;)