BY: COLLEEN LINDBERG
This week I have been reading a book called Deep Work by Cal Newport. It brings forth the concept of non-distracted work for short periods of time (or lengthy ones if needed) to accomplish certain tasks. This could mean in our work lives, our business lives but even in all aspects of life. It got me reflecting on how we live in a world with so many distractions and how we might not take time in our lives anymore for focused work.
Let me give you some examples. I was at the gym today and my phone is going off with text messages, emails, Instagram posts, you name it, all of it was beeping. I had the option to break my set and check everything or silent my phone, turn the music up and keep my focus on my workout. So, what did I do? I “SWATed” (fierce focus on a certain task) my workout out. I left it all on the floor and by the time I was done, I was done, literally. However, another scenario could have happened, I could have checked my phone a million times. Forgot where I was in my repetitions, not focused on the workout and had an ok one leaving but not a great one.
If you look at your life, how often are you distracted by things and are half focused? It happens to all of us, so what can we do about it?
We purposefully align ourselves with Deep Work. We leave our phone at home when we go on a date. (I know some of you were just thinking but what about the kids, the Google map. If one of you brings your phone and is only allowed to pull up the maps or check it here and there because of the kids, that’s ok). Have you ever seen those people out for dinner on their phones and not even communicating? It is so common these days, but really it requires some small actions to get things back into alignment.
When it comes to deep work in my job, I turn off Outlook, turn my phone on silent and for short periods (usually 30 mins – 60 mins) in a day I go at a task. It’s always a high priority, money generating a task and I hash it out.
Imagine if we played with our kids this way, sole focused time. I wonder when the last time you had Deep Work time in your relationships? I am sure that the concept of Deep Work is something that is not as common anymore in our society unfortunately with everything being so accessible, we almost forgot that we used to not have phones and we played outside till it was dusk. At least that was my life growing up.
So, this week, where in your life can you focus your time and do some Deep Work? It just might be a game changer for you and your relationships. It might be exactly what you need to move things forward. Start small and you will see the results it can bring!