Day 176: first day back to office for Deep Work

First day back to office after WFH for 175 days! What a record. Office is having a new meaning now, especially after I finished Deep Work, how timely! Now I have the perfect set up to apply its principles (summarised below)

Before I left home, I packed lunch for the whole family so I don’t need to worry about getting a call what’s for lunch. I also packed my breakfast and a snack. I also put some decent cloths that it’s not sporty and no flip flops 🙂

I turned off notifications in my phone for all apps except the one I use to communicate with my husband for urgent matters.

It was holiday in my work but I decided to come anyway as the girls are doing school and I have many urgent tasks that require deep work. There were only two person in three floors, me and the guard. So quiet! When I arrived, I did my bullet journal and planned tasks that I want to accomplish within the 6 hrs of allowed hours in the office, which is plenty. I chose to do only 4 things, 1 that requires a more thinking than the other 3, so they balanced out. Once I’ve made the list, I closed my inbox and dived in to the tasks. I checked the clock only when I finished, 2 hrs later. 😀 Without distraction and constant interruption, I was lacer sharp on my tasks, and I probably performed 30% faster and better. I finished all my MUST do tasks and few small tasks by 1:30pm. Fully accomplished I went home with a big smile.

I LOVE this new beginning!

When I got home, hubby went to golf, first time since lockdown. And I spent two hours in the afternoon reading with Sofia, finished this cute book. Very light read but very cozy.

I checked email one more time in the afternoon and shut down my laptop for the day by 6pm.

Time away from home made me miss the girls and the husband, so we spent extra time catching up about their days. Lizzy was very busy tending her ice cream shop and french fries shop. Daddy gave her the idea to color her fries and she put an extra smile.

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then time to stretch

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What a perfect day!

Main takeaways for me from the Deep Work:

Who Is Deep Work For?

  • Anyone who wants to increase their productivity, especially knowledge workers
  • Anyone who wants to get more done, but in less time
  • Anyone interested in the science of multitasking, attention, and productivity

1. What Is Deep Work?

Deep work refers to distraction-free, high concentration work that improves your skills, creates a lot of value in little time, and is very hard to replicate.

2. Why Deep Work Is Rare, Yet Highly Valuable

Deep work is hard and shallow work is easier and in the absence of clear goals for your job, the visible busyness that surrounds shallow work becomes self-preserving

Deep work refers to single-tasking, without distractions, in a state of intense focus, for extended periods of time.

3. The Four Rules of Deep Work

Rule #1: Work Deeply. it’s not easy but it’s feasible if rituals and habits are incorporated.

Rule #2: Embrace Boredom. Intense concentration is a skill that must be trained. It is important to not rush to entertain your mind even outside of your deep work sessions. If, throughout your day-to-day life, you give in to distractions at the slightest hint of boredom, you’ll struggle to develop the type of intense concentration necessary for deep work. Stop checking your inbox or looking at your smartphone at every opportunity you get. Train your ability to resist distractions.

Rule #3: Quit Social Media. Social media is the prime example for shallow living. As Cal points out, just because it offers a little benefit, doesn’t mean it’s worth the time we give it. You simply can’t work deeply if you feel the need to hop on social media every couple of minutes. Due to its addictive nature, social media and deep living don’t go well together.

Rule #4: Drain the Shallows. Shallow work refers to answering emails, making phone calls, attending to meetings, and other inevitable but ultimately low-value tasks. If you’re serious about working deeply, you need to drain the Shallows – you need to schedule time for deep work and spend as little time on shallow work as possible.

5.The Value of Systematic Idleness

Cal Newport argues that you should inject regular and substantial (!) leisure time – complete freedom from professional concerns – into your day. This systematic idleness, paradoxically enough, is required to get (deep) work done. He offers three good reasons for this:

  • Downtime aids insights. Some decisions, it turns out, are better left to your unconscious mind to untangle. By occupying your conscious mind with leisure activities, you’ll be able to make better decisions and reach more insights.
  • Downtime helps recharge the energy needed to work deeply. The type of attention used during deep work – so-called directed attention – is a limited resource. In order to replenish that resource, you need to give it a break once in a while.
  • The work that downtime replaces is usually not that important. Your capacity for deep work in a given day is limited to only a couple of hours. Once you’ve used up those hours, any work that comes afterward is less productive and thus less important.

this is the framework but there are other fun things that I discover that I’ll share in another day. 🙂

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