Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Don't follow your passion. Instead, become really good at something. Apply methodical approach to improve your craft skills. Once you got mastery, you might actually like it.
I used Newport's recommendations to reclaim 4+ solid hours of deep focus and it's had a tremendous impact on my productivity and general quality of life.
Here are a few strategies I found successful:
* Create a TODO list each day and separate tasks into shallow and deep categories
* Block off each hour of the day and and fill it with one of the TODO items
* Restrict shallow work to 2 hours (after 2 hours, say no to everything shallow)
* Create a scorecard and track the number of deep hours each day (this number should increase)
* Experiment with Newport's recommendations for two weeks and see which ones increase your deep hours
* Become comfortable saying no
That said, task switching is a practical reality, so coping strategies are important, too.
For help with that, check out Cal Newport's "Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World" (https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Work-Focused-Success-Distracted/...). Full disclosure: He and I share a literary agent.
While following the advice in the book did push my productivity up, sadly I didn't manage to keep up those habits. But it does appear to work, just need to make the right adjustments to make it easier to follow.
As the author points out, we've forgotten how to be bored. We need to learn to engage that part of our brain again.
He calls this "deep work" and has written about it in detail in his 2016 book of the same name: https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Work-Focused-Success-Distracted/dp/1455586692 . He emphasizes the increasing importance of such work in the knowledge economy.
Are there any companies or startups that allow their employees to work in this manner? Has this led to a different way of identifying tasks, structuring them and setting up the work environment?