As we’ve discussed many times, it’s increasingly more rare AND increasingly more valuable.
The amount of high-quality work we produce will always be a function of a very simple equation: Intensity of Focus x Time.
You want to get a lot of great work done in a short period of time? Focus your attention INTENSELY via Deep Work Time Blocks.
Well, Cal Newport tells us that there are four basic Deep Work styles. Let’s take a quick look at each as you think about your optimal approach(es).
1. Hermit-mode. This was my style for a couple years. I basically did nothing but Deep Work. Nice when you can pull it off and completely unplug from everything but not the optimal strategy for most of us—including me these days.
2. Bimodal. This is when you spend a bunch of your time in Deep Work (kinda hermit-like) and the other half very engaged in life. Cal uses Carl Jung as an example of this style. Jung had a very active therapy practice AND he had a hermit-like retreat house out of town he’d go to for Deep Work. Bimodal.
3. Rhythmic. This style is all about finding a consistent rhythm of Deep Work. You may not be able to go full-Hermit on it, but you CAN find that hour before everyone gets up or before you go into email or fill-in-the-blank with YOUR favorite time. Find that time. Protect it. Make it rhythmic. (This is my #1 now—I created this in my Rhythmic AM Deep Work slot after meditation and before the fam gets up.)
4. Journalistic. This is for those with a schedule that doesn’t allow the rhythmic (most DO allow at least some so find it!) and/or for those moments outside the scheduled rhythmic Deep Work when we can grab chunks of time at random intervals like a journalist on a deadline who has to drop in and create something great they can ship on a tight deadline.
Hermit. Bimodal. Rhythmic. Journalistic.
What’s YOUR Deep Work strategy?
Get a little more clarity. And go Deep!!!