Being able to do deep uninterrupted work is crucial if you want to get your work done faster and succeed in life. In fact, if you can cultivate deep work into your life, you will absolutely be ahead of your competition. Cal Newport explains it very well in his book Deep Work, so I won’t go much into it here.
We have to be mindful in crafting our environment to be conducive to deep work because if we leave our days to the whims of daily life with notifications, requests, and messages coming in nonstop, we won’t get anything done.
For me, I found I want my environment to be a dark and plain as possible. No noise, objects flying in and out of my peripheral vision, just myself and my computer and notebook.
I find I do great work on airplanes because they are usually dark, I have no internet, and no distractions. So for any upcoming flight I prepare a list of important work or topics I want to think about and I focus on those on the flight.
I used to often go camping in the woods and I would bring a notepad and computer and I would get a lot of work done. Its not easy for me to disappear in the woods for a few days at a time now, but I do miss it.
These days, I wake up very early and I spent my morning before sunrise doing deep work for 1-2 hours. Most of that time I am writing and thinking, no internet usage allowed until I have written and reviewed my life.
Here are a few things I do to create a deep work a virtual environment. All notifications on my devices are off by default, most of the time people can’t get ahold of me. When I go into “management mode” or for other special situations, I turn on notifications as I need them.
I put 3 blocks of 1 hour each in my calendar called deep work. Then on the morning of the day, I review which important items I want to do and I change the item from deep work to that specific task. When that time comes, I work only at that task.
If you can find a way to create meaningful pockets of deep work time in your life, you will absolutely succeed. It doesn’t matter if you are too busy, or your work requires you to be online at all times, or you have a big family, there are ways to incorporate deep work time into your life, but its up to you.