Why does deep work work?
Unless you're living under a rock, you've heard about the Professor of Money Heist. That character was responsible for pulling off one of the greatest heists in history (fictional of course). He was able to conduct the entire robbery from behind the scenes by playing with the mind of the police and tricking them to do exactly what he wanted. Have you ever wondered how he came out with this genius plan and executed it so well?
“𝐃𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐤”- my friends.
For those who don’t know about deep work, let’s start with a self–explanatory definition of this concept.
“𝑷𝒓𝒐𝒇𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒂 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏-𝒇𝒓𝒆𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒑𝒖𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒈𝒏𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒂𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒎𝒊𝒕. 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒆 𝒆𝒇𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒗𝒂𝒍𝒖𝒆, 𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒌𝒊𝒍𝒍, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒓𝒆𝒑𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒆.”
If you fall under the usual category of people like me, then you feel like you are not important to the economy. You are easily replaceable. Your work does not create enough value for your organization and you have a fear of getting laid off next in this recession. Let me enlighten you on how deep work is going to help you stand out in your career and reach the top.
Deep work requires intense periods of distraction-free work. Neuroscience studies suggest that this kind of work results in the myelination of nerve cells in related areas of the brain. This causes better nerve conduction. Better nerve conduction means you can think faster, comprehend better, and handle more difficult tasks. Remember how Popeye used to get extra strong after eating that can of spinach. Deep work will help you in the same way for your career.
Standing out in the crowd based solely on your skills isn’t as easy as it once was. In this age of connectivity, it is safe to assume almost all of your competitors have access to the same resources as you, and almost all of them have put in just as much effort to earn the same skills. So, you need to set yourself apart if you want to advance. “𝑫𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝑾𝒐𝒓𝒌: 𝑹𝒖𝒍𝒆𝒔 𝑭𝒐𝒓 𝑭𝒐𝒄𝒖𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝑺𝒖𝒄𝒄𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒂 𝑫𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝑾𝒐𝒓𝒍𝒅” gives us the story of Carl Jung, a 20th-century psychologist. His theories set him apart from his peers at the time. To come up with these theories he used to spend distraction-free time in isolation. In the same way, deep work will open your mind, help you realize your potential, and set you apart from the million others.
Bill Gates took 1 week off twice a year to read papers on possible innovations and investment opportunities written by his employees. He called this “Think Week”. One such “Think Week” led to the launch of Internet Explorer. This shows how a week's worth of Deep Work led to the creation of something that became synonymous with the Windows platform. While you might not need to create a revolutionary new product, you do need to add value to be important for your workplace and ensure you don't lose your job to AI.
If your task is something routine, or mundane, there is a high possibility that some tech genius in some corner of the world has written a piece of code that renders you obsolete. With deep work, you enhance your cognitive abilities and develop ideas that you normally would not have come upon and ultimately become irreplaceable like our very own Harvey Spector.
Let’s get something straight. You think you used your time productively this quarantine because you took so many courses from Coursera? 💬 Well, so did the other 10 people you know. So, if you want to advance in your career, stay relevant in your job and be better than your peers, start adopting deep work today.
With that, I would like to end by congratulating you on taking the first step of this journey by reading this article.