Deep Work – How You Can Work Productively in the Zone

If you are looking for ways to increase your productivity and get the most out of your time, the Deep Work method is a technique that you could find extremely useful.

What is Deep Work?

Deep work is the state you can get in when you are engaged in a professional activity in a distraction free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.

Some examples of deep work are studying, writing a book, making music, or solving a new and tough problem.

What is Shallow Work?

On the contrary, shallow work is defined as non-cognitively demanding logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. The work created in these conditions tend not to create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.

Some examples of shallow work are browsing social media, easy homework problems, organizing data, or answering emails. People who spend more time engaged in deep work activites aremore productive and acoomplish more compared to people who are engaged in shallow work.

The practice of deep work will enable you to learn difficult things quicker and create to the best of your ability.

How can Deep Work help you?

The main idea behind deep work is to eliminate all distractions and to focus intently on a single subject or task for an extended amount of time. The need to work deeply is becoming the most valuable asset at the same time as it is becoming rare.

The explosion of the internet and social media, as well as non stop advertisements, has created a world that the vast majority to people are in a state of constant distraction. In order to be the best student or worker that you can be, its important to learn how to work deeply.

The state of Flow

When the brain is allowed to Deep Work without distraction, it gradually enters the state of flow.

In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.

In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.

Deep work doesn’t only put you in a state of flow, it will actually make you happier. Being in a state of flow is more likely to make you happier than having free time.

Incorporating Deep Work into Your Life

Start by choosing certain days, weeks, and months dedicated to deep work. During these periods of time,you can not engage any shallow work at all, such as social media, emailing or watching TV. This time should be dedicated to focused learning, growing and the solving of tough problems.

Someone whois new to deep work, will probablyonly do it for one hour, whereas someone who hassome experience, can maintain the state of deepwork for up to 4 hours.

The time and location that you choose for your deep work should be quiet and be free of all distractions. A library, a home office, or any kind of quiet spot you can find in a University or campus will do.

You also need to establish the laws of your deep work session. These laws are a set of guidelines you have to stick to when you are in deep work.

These laws should include:

– No Texting or Calling on the Phone

– No Internet Browsing

– No Email

– No Meetings

– No Chatting with others

– Resolve to Solve a Problem Before You Take a Break


A re-charger is something that helps you get motivated and keeps your energy levels high when you are in a deep work session. Some examples of this can be drinking coffee before you start a deep work session, taking scheduled breaks, having snacks at hand, or cleaning your work space.

To find out more about Deep Work, check out the book by Professor Cal Newport.

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