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What is deep work?

Deep work is practically when you decide to consume every part of your being and fully absorb yourself into your work. You are put into a highly productive state where you’re deeply focused on a specific problem, especially when it’s difficult. How this works? Here are a few things you’ll learn in your journey of mastering deep work.

Give attention

Set your priorities, from most important to least important. Humans can’t concentrate during long periods of time, especially when it’s a difficult problem. Most tend to just push even the slightest hardship away as they don’t want to deal with it, but trust me when I say it will be worth it in the end.

Place focus on one thing

Do tasks one step at a time. Don’t have too much on your mind or on your plate when handling difficult situations. Take a deep breath, and figure out which to handle first and slowly tackle the rest.

Schedule

Making a timetable for yourself is pretty important in some ways. Always keep track of time and never use up too much of it when doing a task that only requires you a few minutes to do. 

Begin somewhere

The first step is always the hardest. Our brains have this natural reaction to react negatively towards tasks that require deep work. Just remind yourself that at the end of the day, beginning is the first obstacle you need to overcome and once you have, everything will go a lot smoother.

Avoid distractions on the way

Distractions happen anywhere at anytime, for example, just when you’re about to start, you suddenly receive a direct message from Instagram or Facebook, or a notification from Twitter telling you about your favourite celebrity’s most recent tweet. It’s not easy, but try to ignore these as much as you can until you have fully accomplish your task at hand.

Clear unnecessary clutter

When your surroundings are messy, your mind is messy too. Clean up a little bit before setting out to do work. Cleaning not only makes you feel productive, it will help you clear your mind and make yourself less stress than it needs to.

Give your phone a name

Feeling childish? Your phone is your number one enemy when trying to be productive, so name it after your arch nemesis. Or name it something silly that makes you think you won’t be touching it for the rest of the day.

Take a break

Remember to breathe and get up to stretch when engaged in deep work. Don’t blindly do work when you’re too stressed out to. Go easy on yourself, just because you have work to do, doesn’t mean you have to risk your physical or mental health in the process.

Make yourself feel good before, during, and after

When achieving a goal or finishing a task, give yourself a pat on the back and congratulate yourself. Acknowledging an achievement is the first step in allowing yourself to become better and really motivates you to focus during deep work.

Set a time and know when to stop for the day

Everyone is guilty of wanting to finish tasks and working overtime, ultimately sacrificing precious time with family and loved ones. Put a limit to how many hours you work in a day and stick to it. You may work hard, but you need to learn to play hard too.

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