Deep work is the ability to focus without distractions on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly learn and master complex information and ideas.
In a world where the volume and complexity of information continues to increase, deep work is more important than ever. The ability to focus and think deeply about a problem or task is a rare commodity, and those who can do it will have a significant advantage over those who cannot.
Deep work is not just about working hard. It's about working smart. It's about being able to focus and think deeply about a problem or task, and then applying that knowledge in a creative and effective way.
Deep work requires two things:
1) The ability to focus without distractions
2) The ability to think deeply about a problem or task
The first requirement is the ability to focus without distractions. This means being able to block out all external distractions and focus solely on the task at hand. It's not easy, but it's essential for deep work.
The second requirement is the ability to think deeply about a problem or task. This means being able to understand and grasp complex information and ideas and fit them into your framework of reality.
Deep work is the term that computer science academic and writer Cal Newport uses to describe the kind of focus required to do cutting-edge research or complex analysis. Newport argues that it has become increasingly rare as our world has become more reliant on technology and thus more distractible.
The type of work that requires sustained attention and focus is also becoming increasingly valuable in our economy, as it can lead to original insights and solutions that are in high demand. As a result, those who are able to engage in deep work will have a leg up on their competition.
There are a few things you can do to become better at deep work:
1) Make a commitment to it. Schedule time for deep work into your day, and stick to it.
2) Eliminate distractions.
3) Train your attention span. Practice meditation or other attention-training exercises to improve your ability to focus.
4) Start small. Deep work doesn't have to be all-consuming; start with 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted focus and gradually increase the amount of time you can sustain it.
Deep work is a valuable skill that is becoming increasingly rare and thus more valuable. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, make a commitment to deep work and start training your attention span today.