Book Club Feb Week 2: Deep Work

by Diane Wolf in Blog, Book Club
February 14, 2017 0 comments


Today’s email is short because you actually have some homework.

Newport goes into a lot of detail explaining WHY it is so important to find focus, and if you are reading along, you have probably noticed that the first 3 chapters build the theoretical base. Chapter 4 actually gets into the “how” of focus, and it can be condensed into the following:

Hopefully by now you are convinced of the value of doing deep work, but you might be struggling with figuring out how to find the time and/or space for it. Newport offers two major options.

1. Find a chunk of time to go away somewhere and eliminate all other distractions. He uses the example of J.K.Rowling checking into a $1,000 a night hotel in Edinburgh to write her last Harry Potter book, because at home she was surrounded by too many distractions, including children. The fact that she paid so much for the hotel room motivated her to actually work. He does talk about the value of having ‘skin in the game’ so to speak, by doing something rather dramatic to ensure that one is motivated to work. I believe J.K.Rowling was single at the time, and didn’t have to run that expenditure by a spouse… just sayin’…

But, the concept is valid. If you need to make all sorts of sacrifices to find that time away to focus, the motivation to actually focus is higher. I do appreciate that, even if my realistic choice would more likely be pitching a tent somewhere.

2. Develop a daily habit, with routines, to establish that focus. Newport spoke of a doctoral student who worked full-time and had a family, and took months to write one chapter of his dissertation. He started setting aside 5:30 to 7:30 am to work only on his dissertation, and found that to be extremely helpful. It became his new routine, and he could go to work each day knowing his dissertation work was already completed. I can see the value in not having the stress of worrying about it all day! In the case of having children around to distract you, I can certainly see how developing a new routine could be really valuable, even though it might take a few weeks for the kids to understand that Mummy or Daddy are NOT available at a certain time, and must not be interrupted unless there is blood or smoke. That was my rule when my kids were small.

So, give some thought to how you can carve out time to focus on your business ‘thinking’. Whether it’s a weekend at a B&B or an hour during your day that you keep an appointment to yourself, you can do it! And then head over to our Facebook group and share your ideas!

Warmly, Diane

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