Updated: Nov 22, 2022
It's pretty safe to say that we want to maximize our good habits and minimize other habits. One good habit that I have is carving out "Focus Time" when I really need to do what Cal Newport calls, Deep Work.
In Newport's book, Deep Work, he takes us on a philosophical and practical journey examining why deep work is important and details how to do it in our everyday lives.
He shares a few different approaches to deep work, but I'm going to talk about the one that resonated most with me called the Rhythmic Philosophy.
According to Newport,
"This philosophy argues that the easiest way to consistently start deep work sessions is to transform them into a simple regular habit. The goal, in other words, is to generate a rhythm for this work that removes the need for you to invest energy in deciding if and when you're going to go deep."
My time writing is an example of deep work in action. I know that I will do it and at what time, although what I write may vary.
There is no resistance and I look forward to waking up each morning to do it. I've done deeply satisfying work and feel accomplished all before the sun rises.
Everything else is gravy.
In order to do deep work, however, you have to dedicate time to focus. Block "Focus Time" on your calendar and use that time to produce. Don't check e-mail or get sucked into social media chatter. FOCUS.
The books goes on to share how Jerry Seinfeld, early in his career, put the rhythmic philosophy into action by dedicating himself to writing one joke a day.
Each time he wrote a joke, he would put a large X across that day on the calendar. As each day passed, the Xs would create a chain. His goal then became to not break the chain.
This chain method (as it's now referred to) soon became a go to method for writers and others looking to maintain a habit. This method works. Try it for yourself.
Cheering you on,