“The (person) who works so moderately as to be able to work constantly not only preserves (their) health the longest but, in the course of the year, executes the greatest quantity of work.” – Adam Smith
In today’s world of constant distractions brought on by technology and social media, it’s becoming the norm. Did you know that the average office worker only gets around 11 minutes of uninterrupted time between distractions? And to make matters worse, it takes an average of 25 minutes to fully regain focus on the original task after being interrupted.
According to Professor Cal Newport in his book “Deep Work – Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,” he suggests that serious professionals should consider quitting social media altogether. He defines deep work as those professional activities performed with undivided attention and concentration, pushing your cognitive abilities to the maximum.
Here are five tips to help you get into that coveted “flow state” where you’re super productive and laser-focused:
- Cut back on social media. If platforms like Facebook are eating up too much of your time, consider using apps like Freedom or StayFocused to limit your usage. These apps can help you restrict the amount of time you spend on social media.
- Set strict time limits for work. Imposing strict time constraints helps prevent procrastination and burnout. The more deadlines and limits you set for yourself, the less time you’ll have for wasting. For example, challenge yourself with statements like, “I have 90 minutes to finish this business case” or “I’ll wrap up work by 5:30 every day.” These limits make it easier to stay focused on the task at hand.
- Embrace deep work strategies.
- Monastic: Allocate long periods of uninterrupted time to work without any distractions.
- Bimodal: Reserve a few consecutive days where you fully immerse yourself in deep work, followed by returning to your regular routine of meetings and calls for the rest of the week.
- Rhythmic: Dedicate three to four hours each day to deep work on your project. Block off a specific time slot in your calendar, like 8 am to 12 pm, to ensure uninterrupted focus.
- Smoothly transition into deep work. Establish rituals and routines that help ease your transition into a state of depth. After determining your working philosophy, commit to scheduling dedicated deep work blocks in your diary and stick to them. Planning in advance eliminates the need for willpower. Also, create a designated workspace specifically for deep work.
- Minimize shallow work. Confine shallow work tasks so that they don’t hinder your ability to fully leverage your deep work efforts. Utilize time blocking to schedule every minute of your day and group similar tasks together, such as email, printing, or scheduling meetings.
Don’t worry if you need to tweak your schedule multiple times. The key is to have control over the type of work you’re doing. Deep work enhances efficiency and productivity. If you need assistance with other efficiency strategies for your business, feel free to get in touch with us. We’re here to help!