I Tried This Technique to Triple My Productivity and This Is How It Went
Do you feel that you are not being productive enough? Do you think you could do more with the time you have? Join the club.
I am constantly reading about different tips and advice to be more productive. Many things have helped me, but I never stop learning.
Some time ago I came across a Youtuber talking about a concept that I found interesting. It was called Deep Work, and I was surprised that it has nothing to do with the Deep Web.
As I dug more into the subject, I came across the book and the author who created the term. Cal Newport describes Deep Work as the ability to focus deeply on a task with no distractions. This way, you can do more demanding tasks with ease and in less time.
I found the idea quite fascinating, but I kept thinking about how that really applies to me. Since Cal is an expert programmer and this technique aims more to deep and extensive branches like programming.
I took the basic principles of it and tried to apply them to my job, which is writing. This is how I did it and this is how it went.
1. You must get rid of distractions
This is one of the most difficult parts but the most necessary. The concept of Deep Work is to focus 100% on the task you do.
We usually do Shallow Work, which is work that we constantly interrupt.
For this, I removed my phone from the equation. I usually worked with it on my desk and even though I turned off notifications, I couldn't help stopping to unlock the screen.
My phone stays in a separate room.
On the other hand, in the browser tabs, there is no social network or page that is not necessary for the piece I write.
Sometimes I even disconnect my PC from the wi-fi if I already have all the necessary info.
2. Set times
Cal talks about planning your whole day the night before. Each task is assigned to a block of time.
I don't plan my whole day in advance, but I do set the time to work.
If you decide to work from 2 pm to 5 pm, it is time to eliminate distractions and focus.
3. The timer technique
I read this tip in a related article and it's really what I use. The most cognitively demanding part of my job is writing an article. It is when I should be most focused and when I am most prone to being distracted. Edit stories and check the stats are not so demanding.
So I used a watch with a timer to fully enter the zone. You'll see how difficult it is to do a task continuously for more than a few minutes.
This timer can't be your phone, obviously, so I started with my wristwatch. I set an hour to countdown and for 60 minutes I must focus completely on the piece I am writing.
Without stopping, without being distracted to check the phone, without multitasking. It's a matter of working nonstop until the alarm goes off.
At first, it's not so easy. It reminded me a lot of when I started meditating. You constantly feel the need to stop and turn your attention to something else.
Start with a few minutes and progress through increasingly complex tasks.
I've been trying this for about two months and I've been able to write for two hours straight without any distraction. In 120 minutes I have done a week's work.
Try it, lock yourself in your bubble of concentration, set a timer, and start working non-stop.
You will see how your brain adapts to focus on tasks for longer. It's like any exercise, it just takes practice.
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