Day 177: fragmented Tuesday

As opposed to deep work Monday, my Tuesday was more fragmented. I spent 6.5 hrs in the office and another couple at home. The tasks list was long and all required little time but distinct in nature. They are what Cal would call shallow work. I realised I like deep work much more as  I feel more accomplish finishing 3 things than when I tackle 15 things on my list from shallow work. But well… modern work is designed to be that way. It would be interesting to make an account of the ratios, deep vs. shallow work. I suspect the higher managerial work we do, the less is the ratio favoring deep work. So… do I ever want to become a manager? mmmm….. I wonder.

Now that I spend lunch time in the office, I pack lunch for the family before I leave in the morning. Pic above was yesterday’s lunch that I made the night before, chicken potato rice cooked in instant pot paired with broccoli. Husband sent me the pic to ask me who should get which bowl. 😀 It made me laugh (does it matter? I thought in my mind), but I kindly replied to him: assign size of the container to size of the eater. 😆

Husband and I were like zombies past 5pm as we both woke up before 3am, another fun talk in the darkness. It was funny that we were suffering from the same lack of sleep and cheering each other up, constantly reminding each other not to lie down or sit still. Shared pain could also be bounding.

There are few concepts from the Deep Work that really stuck me, so I’ll be sharing one per day in the blog.

#1 NO NEED TO RESPOND TO ALL EMAILS. We are in a culture that we think we are expected to return all emails out of respect. Cal made a different point. Those emails that our response doesn’t really matter much, we shouldn’t feel obliged to respond. This is especially true for people who wants something from us without reciprocity. He gave the example of students asking professors for a chat to discuss their ideas. Cal says for those emails, you can make the other person “work” harder if they really want to get an answer from you. I can totally relate to that. When I was younger, I often get very upset when someone “important” doesn’t respond to my emails, even after few follow ups. Nowadays i also do that, not as often as I still feel obliged to provide a quick response, especially with strangers that want something from me (job opportunities, network, etc), and unconsciously I do that for two reasons: 1) they are not in my priority list so I often forget after a first read;  2) if they really want something they’d follow up, if not, it wasn’t important.

Q: Do you respond to all emails?

One thought on “Day 177: fragmented Tuesday

  1. I typically always do. I’ll admit, I’m one of those people that feels bad if I don’t respond. I’m the kind of person that will write an email, receive a response, and then write back yet another response of, “Great, thanks!” or something again. hahahaha.

    I also struggle with feeling like if someone semi-important texts me, I have to write back right away too. ALSO, as a result, I sometimes take it personally if I email someone and they either don’t respond or take a really long time to write back. What you’re saying here makes sense, but I still struggle with that because I guess I feel like nowadays everyone has email on their phone and everywhere, so I always feel like, “How did they not have 2 seconds to just reply? How rude!” haha. I’m working on detaching from that a bit. (disclaimer- this is more for personal emails/ stuff related to the kids like a teacher or coach…I don’t actually get a ton of work email correspondence that I have to reply to in general, and for work stuff I don’t always respond immediately or care if someone delays in responding to me).


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