Deep Work Versus Shallow Work

Sunny Samanta

3rd Jun'22
Deep Work Versus Shallow Work | OpenGrowth

Last Sunday I planned on taking on the house chores. I woke up early at 9:00 AM and took it from there. I started with the laundry. I placed the week's worth of used cloth and put them in the washing machine. While the washing machine stupendously did its job, I went on and made some black coffee for myself. Next, I broke some eggs and put some bread slices in the toaster, and turned on some soothing morning music. Everything went on smoothly until it did not.

Before I could place the egg on the pan, a friend named Amritanshu called me. I received the call and we started having a conversation. In the process, the bread got burnt and broken eggs kept waiting. Not letting the incident down my spirit, I ordered some yummy English breakfast and went to take up the broomstick. I had just swept the hall room and the bedroom when the breakfast arrived and I got involved with it. Around twenty minutes later, the realization hit me that the clothes in the washing machine have been waiting to get dried up and there were a couple of rooms left to clean. I could only facepalm myself at that moment.

You see the whole experience was to drive home one critical point - distractions. We are surrounded by distractions everywhere and it can cause us a lot of inconveniences and hamper our work progress and quality. As a result, we have two specific ways to deal with distractions effectively - deep work and shallow work.

 

Deep Work versus Shallow Work

 

Deep Work Versus Shallow Work

Deep work is a task that creates new values. They are tough to replicate, pushing cognitive skills to their limit. They are performed free from distractions. Shallow work, on the other hand, is a task that doesn't create a lot of new value. However, the process is easy and smooth to replicate. Also, they frequently get finished comfortably despite the distractions.

 

Deep Work and Shallow Work

 

Why Choose Deep Work

You must probably have experienced both ways of working. Also, I'm sure that many of you are more inclined to do shallow work. Shallow work has become the dominant way of work because of how easily one can fall into it. However, when running a project or a big assignment, it's easy to get distracted and fall into the trap of spending too much time on shallow activities

The whole practice often results in us running out of time. Therefore, we should give more value to work that creates value. Overall, we can term that we are in an unhealthy relationship with deep work while it should be the other way around. But deep work showcase the characteristics of grit which is essential today to grow in career. Hence, it is critical to take over the deep work and master it better as it is way superior to shallow work in terms of creating value. Besides, it provides more satisfaction and helps to create a positive work environment.

 

Ways to Master Deep Work

Renowned author, Cal Newport, has done extensive research on the importance and mastery of deep work. He states that there are three main reasons why we should develop a deep work practice:

 

  • It’s valuable as it allows us to develop new skills faster and leverage our current skills. 

  • It’s rare since the world is full of distractions, fewer people are able to go deep. 

  • It’s meaningful since we get more meaning and satisfaction out of being focused on our craft.


The above-mentioned might be easy to follow and execute but we all know it is easier said than done. But to make deep work into a productive work here are two ways to improve your deep work abilities.

 

Make a Routine

Our brains like it when we establish a routine. To introduce deep work into your workday, it helps to define upfront the rules of engagement. Define where you are going to work and for how long. Make sure you find a place free of distractions where you can remain focused. You should also define what you are going to do during your deep work sessions. The more specifically you define boundaries, the better.

Apart from it, have a goal in mind  as it can help you remain focused and move towards the predefined task. Lastly, make sure you have all the resources you need to support you during deep work. This includes any documents or books, tools and even snacks and water. Assure that you leave no excuses to interrupt your deep work session.

 

Schedule Your Time

Most of the reason we get distracted so easily is that we go through the day without any plan or structure. This lack of constraints free us to jump from task to task, from distraction to distraction without noticing how little we accomplish. The chaos and busy life take priority and little to no value was produced. 

So, plan our day in advance. With planning, you can segment the day into smaller chunks of time. As a result, you can clearly assign the time each activity deserves accordingly. Yes, the plan can create a rough time block of the day so you can still adapt it to any unpredictable activities. The strategy also teaches you to value and respect your time, encouraging you to emphasize depth.

 

We at OpenGrowth, are committed to keeping you updated with the best content on the latest trendy topics from any major field. Also, both your feedback and suggestions are valuable to us. So, do share them in the comment section below.

A lone wolf by definition, a writer by heart, and a lost star with ambitions to light up the dark both inside and around me, sometimes by immersing myself into books or video games or traveling with a backpack to an uncertain destination believing that life is all about the choices we make and we don't.

Comments

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