Productivity requires “attention management”.
So in the other series, I highlighted the importance of keeping things simple and attention management. Here, I emphasise how bringing a deep focus helps you to form better ideas. Let’s say, building up the brainpower momentum.
There are several ways, of course, to achieve inbox zero (I have dealt with this earlier).
Studies by Gloria Mark and colleagues show that we often switch what we’re doing every few minutes, and these frequent interruptions “cause us to work faster, which causes more stress, higher frustration, time pressure, and effort.” And this sabotages not just our performance but the way we “show up” in the world.
In contrast, Georgetown professor Cal Newport defines “deep work” as “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” He says that the benefit is that “it allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.”
I think about deep work as needing “brainpower momentum.” It takes time to get started, get focused, and fully mobilize our resources in the service of our most important, most meaningful work. By “resources,” I mean not only our knowledge, wisdom, and experience, but also our empathy, passion, kindness, diligence and all of the other qualities we bring to our day-to-day lives to make them unique, richer and have more impact.