WANTED: Deep Work
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]C[/mk_dropcaps]urrently I'm reading a book titled "Deep Work" by Cal Newport. The subtitle is what really grabs you, it says "Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World." How telling of where we are at as a culture when the norm is to remain in the shallows even when it comes to our work. It makes sense socially that we have become more superficial. This being the social media era feeds this problem as we can default to indirect communication that stunts the growth of depth in our relationships. You get a false sense of closeness without actually getting close. It isn't so much that people know everything about what you do and where you do it, but more of what lies under the surface. Your strengths, the gifts that have yet to be activated, only come to the surface with traditional face to face interactions. I could write an essay on the value of depth in relationships, but that is a topic for another time.
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]Today is a refresher on the value of challenging yourself to go deep in your work.[/mk_blockquote]
It is so easy to get pulled into the shallow work that makes you feel productive because creates a hum of busy work. However, what Cal Newport states is that those who are willing to set aside the seduction and lure of distractions to step into the deep will produce what this world is craving. It is only in the depths that true innovation comes. It is also where we find that most satisfaction. Despite what you hear people say, the best life isn't lived on the couch or "doing nothing." We are created to build and create. In fact Cal Newport highlights a few studies that show the most satisfaction comes from doing work that pushes us to the limits what we perceive our capacity to be.
This is not by accident. We are created by a creative and innovative God. He put within you and I special gifts and talents that our lives are destined to draw out. Yet we still have to do the work.
That is the key. Somehow the distractions have grown so loud, and in many cases unavoidable, that drastic actions and strong boundaries must be created in order for work to be done at all. Much less deep work that takes more than the remaining mental capacity you have in a day. It takes discipline and intention.
I encourage you to read the book if you want to dig into the specific ways to do this. Newport uncovers how you can do so in ways that allow you to still fulfill your job and roles (when they aren't exclusively about producing innovative projects... which is most jobs out there). Deep work doesn't mean you ignore some of the shallow work that is a part of life, and many jobs out there. Rather, to bring back up to priority doing what you are called to do. That is deep work.
God put in you and I a destiny, or as Christians have named it "calling." The divine assignment we are to fulfill this side of heaven. This post serves as a reminder for you and I to evaluate where we are at. Are we being seduced to wade into the shallows of distraction. All their comforts and perceived productivity? Or are we really challenging ourselves to push our minds, gifts and talents to the limit to stretch out into the deep where we can solve the insolvable. Create the innovative. Arguably the most important of all, fulfill our purpose here on earth.
Life is too valuable and to short to live any other way. Now is the time to go deep!