Updated: May 12, 2022
A book was recommended to me by a friend.
Here are some of the main points with my relational twist.
The book is called…
by: Cal Newport
We spend a great deal of our time in SHALLOW WORK— texts, sitcoms, social media, small talk… distractions.
DEEP WORK is something different.
DEEP WORK is rare and valuable— but it only comes to us by way of a little thing called…
I will be the first to admit that I have difficulty focusing.
When I am alone. When I am driving. When I am needing to do school work. When I know I should write, journal, read, yoga, meditate or clean my room. When I am left to my own devices. I get distracted. I can waste hours.
So how do we focus and why should we?
Why should we care about DEEP WORK?
Because we need it. The world needs it.
The shallow work is what keeps us stuck in our stuff.
Its what keeps us stagnant and uninspired.
Ok lets get some brain science up in here.
In order to focus, our brains need a workout.
MYELIN is what insulates our neurons so that our thoughts can flow.
Our brains have to be trained in order to do DEEP WORK.
Focus builds Myelin. Fantastic. So there is hope.
In order to do DEEP WORK we have to learn to focus.
The book also discusses the idea of…
This is created by multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is an ineffective way of creating.
Our split and minimized attention in all areas involved results in SHALLOW WORK.
Attention residue diminishes performance.
Here it comes...straight up with a twist….
THIS IS TRUE IN RELATIONSHIPS AS WELL.
If our heart or focus are split then we are unable to fully cultivate DEEP RELATIONSHIPS—
We split our focus with the TV, phone, social media, texts, kids, work, that cute guy who winked at you at the juice bar…distractions.
And our relationships suffer.
We talk about increasing the MYELIN in our brains to perform better in our work...
but what about our RELATIONSHIPS?
How often are we in conversation with friends, family, or our partner and we get a text and immediately shift gears. We fracture our attention and it can causes us to enter the shallow end again.
I spend so much time on my phone. I will be the first to admit. I feel the residue.
I want deeper work in my work and in my relationships.
The book encourages us to create TIME BLOCKS-
The practice of intense focus over an extended period of time to create extraordinary results.
Time blocks help us.
In studying. In dating. In writing. In creating. In everything.
This DEEP WORK is needed in regards to fidelity and deepening our committed relationships.
We have access to so much distraction.
The internet, texts, computer, video games… you get it.
This is not helping us do DEEP WORK with our partners.
These distractions drive wedges between the relationships and cause fragmentation. How can we strive to be present with our partners in body and mind?
The distractions are so attractive because they allow us to stay in the SHALLOW END where it is safe. Where little is expected from us and little is created.
And let's be honest, sometimes we need to sit in the shallow end.
I’m not knocking it because I need it sometimes too.
Our pain and shame calls us to the shallow end. To distract us. Even to give us a break. I get it.
So what if we looked at our pain and voiced our shame so we could get out of the kiddy pool and swim in the ocean?
Two last things… Newport talks about …
Structuring our lives with routines and rituals in order to create DEEP WORK.
It doesn’t just happen.
Create space for routine. Get away to create. Go away for a weekend. Dates.
Phone free time with your partner or your work. Space to dream, plan, and create.
Allow yourself to retreat to create DEEP WORK.
I was just a part of a retreat with my spiritual community where we created space to connect with ourselves, our community, and the Divine. There was definitely DEEP WORK that happened.
And it was game changing and life giving.
Daily routines can help us do DEEP WORK as well.
Sharing your day with your roommate or partner.
The book also encourages us to become WILDLY EXCITED about a goal.
It asks us to become passionate about what we are working on.
Whether it be our
What DEEP WORK is calling to you?
What area or relationship do you know could use some FOCUS?
This concept was insightfully inspiring for me and I hope it gives you a nudge or two to create DEEP WORK with what is inside you and with who is beside you.