By Cal Newport (2016)
Ironically, jobs are actually easier to enjoy than free time, because like flow activities they have built-in goals, feedback rules, and challenges, all of which encourage one to become involved in one’s work, to concentrate and lose oneself in it.
[Great creative minds] think like artists but work like accountants.
High performance benefits you financially and is very satisfying professionally and personally. It requires:
- Fast learning
- Ability to produce at a high level
For both of these: deep focus.
Deep work requires levels of concentration well beyond where most knowledge workers are comfortable.
- You want your brain to connect the wires in the right places, you achieve this with focus
- Don’t train your brain to want distractions (e.g., checking email while waiting in a queue)
- You’re fighting desires all day, your willpower reserves get used up
- Have a routine, and rituals (e.g., reward yourself)
- Figure out what you’re going to do before your free evenings, weekends
- Finish work by 17:30
- Become hard to reach. Try not responding. From Tim Ferris: “Develop a habit of letting bad things happen.”
- Try thinking through problems when walking, jogging, showering…
- Schedule downtime (this helps creativity too)
- Can’t filter out irrelevant things
- Can’t manage working memory
- Are chronically distracted, responding instead of initiating