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The modern world is dominated by the omnipresence of a whirlwind of activities and distractions that make it difficult to concentrate on cognitive or creative tasks. In order to perform intellectually demanding tasks, we need to calm our minds and enter a state of maximum concentration where distraction is virtually nil. Intense or deep working allows us to accomplish demanding tasks in less time.
The modern whirlpool kills productivity
Today's world is full of distractions. The Internet, social networks and the advent of smartphones have changed the game. From a calm and orderly world, we are now in a universe where everyone is connected. We're also being solicited from all sides and bombarded with tons of news and information. Gone is the quietness, there is hardly any place on the planet where this incessant whirlwind can't reach us.
2 hours and 53 minutes on average of productivity per day
A survey conducted in 2016 in the UK by VoucherCloud showed that most employees within a company work an average of 2 hours and 53 minutes a day. They spend the rest of their working time on social networks, or even looking for a new job. This modern whirlwind is a real plague and undermines the productivity of organizations.
The multitasking mode to be avoided
But the evil doesn't stop there! It is estimated that it takes 15 to 20 minutes for the brain to return to " intense " mode after an interruption. Each interruption is therefore very costly in terms of productivity. A very interesting study has been published by Earl Miller, a behavioural neuroscientist at MIT. It suggests that the same brain functions are affected when developing an effective multitasking mode. The result is a decrease in concentration, because our brain can only do one task at a time. Changing tasks continuously prevents sufficient concentration to perform more demanding cognitive tasks.
This incessant whirlwind of activity gives us no respite. You will feel like you have accomplished nothing in your day and it starts all over again day after day.
But what is hard work or deep working?
In 2017, Professor Cal Newport published Deep Work in which he claims that the daily whirlwind of his students' lives significantly affects their academic performance. In his book, he offers them methods to reduce distractions.
He also suggests that they create periods of intense work that facilitate concentration and the accomplishment of cognitive tasks. In addition, to improve their level of concentration, he recommends that they define work periods in advance to isolate themselves from the whirlwind without any distractions. In these periods, intense or deep work working devient then possible.
Thus, during periods of intense work, many more complex tasks are performed that are only possible with a high level of concentration. These periods are therefore important if you want to accomplish more during your life.
But where do you start to get intense work?
Here are 4 essential steps to start inserting hard work into your life...
1. Be aware of the whirlwind
It's not easy to change our habits. It starts with a solid awareness of the time we waste every day. Most people do not live in the present moment. They are absorbed by tons of distractions, especially from their cell phone. So, try to reduce the priority of these distractions to a secondary priority. You can then keep the more important things in the foreground.
In addition, keep a time slot of 10 or 15 minutes, for example, every hour and group all your distractions together. For example: maintain your social profile or respond to your emails and texts, and then go back to the present moment of your life. By grouping all your distractions together, you'll be able to better control them. It frees up quality time for your personal accomplishments.
2. Take control of your agenda, bet on time blocking.
Studies have shown that an optimal work schedule should include 60 to 90 minute periods of more intense work, followed by 15 to 20 minute rest periods that can be repeated several times a day. These periods of intense work should be judiciously positioned in your day to avoid interruption or disruption. This will allow you to take advantage of the times of day that are more conducive to intense work. Take advantage of the 15-minute breaks to do something else, such as answering emails and calls or relaxing. This technique of reserving calendar blocks for certain tasks is called time blocking.
3. Control your environment
During these periods of intense work, you will need to eliminate all sources of distraction. Put your cell phone on pause mode and eliminate any visual or auditory distractions. Find a quiet, restful place to concentrate. Install indicators so that people around you know when they can interrupt you and when they shouldn't disturb you. Scents and music can also improve your concentration. Use headphones that eliminate background noise, which will help you concentrate. You can also check the binaural beat music section on the Internet, where you will find music that helps you work hard and concentrate.
4. Master your science
Establish new, healthier work habits so that hard work becomes more natural and part of your routine. Hard work will make you better at what you do by giving you the focus you need to perform more difficult tasks.
Why is it so important ?
A day often consists of a never-ending whirlwind of activities. As you regain control of your day, you will accomplish more tasks and that will allow you to accomplish yourself professionally!