Last year, I came across a book that completely changed the way I worked. It also encouraged me to create an entirely new room in my home, which isn’t something I normally do when I've just finished reading a book. It was called Deep Work by Cal Newport and I can't recommend it enough.
In this post, I’ll explain what it’s all about and share what I did to make sure I can ‘work deeply’ whenever I need to.
I think the best way to describe deep work is to give you an example.
You get into the office, the phone rings, leading to long conversation, and then you try to answer a few emails that seem to be important. Colleagues have a lot of questions as well, so that work on the big presentation will have to wait. You then have several meetings to get through and keep everyone happy in-between. This all happens before you've even considered social media.
This isn’t deep work.
Deep work is when you focus on a key task without getting distracted and giving it your full attention
It’s so easy to become distracted these days and be expected to do several things at the same time. As I’ve said before, none of us are able to truly multitask and there’s a lot of evidence to back that up. If you really want to get things done in the modern world, I suggest you take the time to discover deep work for yourself as it's becoming an increasingly rare thing.
When I came across Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work I knew that multitasking didn’t work, but hadn’t realised how bad it could be. I was honestly blown away by this book and decided that I needed to take drastic measures to make it work for me.
Out of the office, it became clear that I needed somewhere where I could really sit down and get things done.
While I had a desk, it was against a wall in my bedroom which made it hard to settle down to sleep after working in the evening. This, and the other places in my home where I tried to work also had screens that were bound to take away my attention eventually.
My solution was to create a 'deep work room', so I cleared out my spare room and headed to Ikea.
My desk is now placed in the centre of the room, rather than against a wall, and my attention is now fixed on a single monitor. Drawers and shelves surround the desk so there’s nothing demanding my attention, although I can look out the window if I want to see the world outside.
I have some really inspirational artwork on the walls and in addition to my equipment, there are some models and personal items that mean something to me.
This means that if I do look up from what I’m doing, I’m going to be inspired.
I’ve also have an Amazon Echo in the room, which is really useful when your working as you can set timers to keep track of things. In addition to this, when I put on a focus playlist from Apple Music or Spotify, I’m really in the zone.
Getting an adjustable, standing desk also helped, especially when I’m recording the media content that will soon appear on the site.
I love it and it pretty much all appeared after I read Deep Work. I’ve featured this book on the site, so just follow the link below to take a look. You won't regret it: