2 min read | Thursday, September 5, 2019
TRANSITIONING TO DEEP WORK
AND THE LIMITS OF HALF-ASSING A THOUSAND THINGS.
Photo by Talia Cohen on Unsplash
IS DEEP FOCUS STILL AN ASSET?
More often than not lately, my job has been to do whatever’s needed to keep my companies afloat. Some days, that’s negotiating cheaper insurance. Other days, that’s responding to commenters on our pages. On the more exciting days, we’re on a shoot.
When your job, like most peoples’, becomes doing a million different things at once, you trade the opportunity to develop your core talent. Whatever that thing that made you great was, there’s no possible way you’re getting any better at it while texting, emailing, checking stocks, watching TV, calling people, then more emails, et cetera.
But very few jobs today involve true deep work, or the complete ignorance of distractions and total immersion into a singular task. Which is quite the catch-22 because my skill — writing words to tell a story — involves the deepest of deep work, but I literally just answered a text in between the last two sentences. Then, like muscle memory, instead of coming straight back to my word doc after opening iMessage, I decided to open a new browser window. My fingers didn’t even need to be told to start typing F-A-C-Enter, because autocomplete already knew I was headed for a stroll down vanity street.
Well, not today. Yesterday, maybe. But today, I’m going to burrow deep so it hurts a little less next time I’m down here. So when I start that new job soon, the one where I get to hone my craft around other professionals on the same journey, the one where I have to truly focus deeply, consistently and indefinitely without the option to hide, I’m able to keep burrowing deeper during the work, and I won’t panic when I fly off into deep space. After all, I’ve been there. And it wasn’t so bad last time.
Once I’m finished, I might even finally reward myself. Who knows? Maybe I’ll post the thing I wrote while focusing so deeply on F-A-C…
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