- Problems with concentration
- Shallow vs. deep work
- Solutions supporting deep work
Shallow Work vs. Deep WorkTerms shallow and deep work were coined by Cal Newport and described in his 2016 bestseller, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. According to Newport, shallow work can be defined as “non-cognitive, logistical or minor duties performed in a state of distraction”. They don’t require huge cognitive effort and can be performed automatically. At the same time, they are not very fulfilling and satisfying and usually don’t contribute towards important objectives. Nevertheless, these responsibilities can’t be neglected. However, shallow work distracts us from our most important tasks. While it’s impossible to get rid of this aspect of work entirely, it’s crucial to be mindful of how much time is dedicated to it. That brings us to the clue of this article; deep work. Deep work or deep focus is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. As its originator explains, deep work equals “professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limits”. Deep work is more valuable because it praises quality over quantity. Results of deep work are well thought-through and effective, as well as highly beneficial for your business.
How to Support Deep WorkWhile it’s impossible to completely get rid of all the distracting e-mails, notifications, and calls, some solutions can promote and support the idea of deep work among employees.
1. Digital WellbeingFirst of all, it’s advisable to take care of their digital wellbeing. Introducing digital wellbeing apps, helping the employees to reduce the number of distractions, may be a great idea. These apps allow their users to reduce the number of stimuli, set the daily limit with app and site timer, or snooze notifications. If you want to explore the topic of digital wellbeing, make sure to check out one of my previous articles.
2. MotivationOne of the common reasons for losing one’s focus is a lack of motivation. Deep work requires a lot of effort and can be cognitively exhausting, that’s why it’s crucial to keep motivation and morale high. It’s advisable to invest in employee-motivation platforms or apps, such as Grow Uperion. These solutions support employees’ hard work and motivate them to excel in their tasks.
3. Minimising DistractionsTo minimise the number of repetitive tasks it may be a good idea to automate some processes and ensure intuitive solutions. Depending on the industry, it may mean reducing manual distractions by e.g. introducing automated processes or cutting the flow of messages by investing in chatbots or digital assistants.