Day#339: Deep Work – By Cal Newport

Day#339: Deep Work – By Cal Newport

Hey Researchers today I wanted to discuss the topic of Deep Work by Cal Newport. I will be totally honest, I have not yet read the book, but I have seen a lot of online material which discusses Cal Newport’s methodologies. You can check out an episode on the podcast Hidden Brain for where I first heard about the topic. This is where the presenter and journalist Shankar Vedantam interviews Cal Newport himself. 

You can check out this video below that I found on Youtube that discusses the concept of Deep work as well by the channel The “Productivity Game”.

The concept of deep work has really stood out for me, because as a researcher it is very important. From coming up with methodologies that will help validate or invalidate hypotheses that have been made. Deep work is essential for synthesis once data is collected from observational work, or run of the mill usability testing. The form of synthesis I run is sifting and collecting with a focus on thematic analysis. This is a common form of synthesis within the qualitative research field. It takes being able to focus and identify patterns in data, and sometimes if you are having consistent distractions it may take you awhile to pick up on those patterns. 

With the way companies structure their working environments these days having a seperate space for deep work can be nearly impossible to achieve. If you are working at a company that has a large open plan environment, try to bring it up with your management on what you are working on. How you want to achieve it will show seniority, and perhaps also considering sitting in another space apart from your team who you know you will want to converse with if you are around them. Think about getting a pair of noise cancelling headphones or working earlier. This is actually my trick, I tend to do deep work till 10am where everyone else is quiet, and not even in till around 9:30. I tend to do deep work at that time, and then wind down as the day progresses. In the late afternoon when the office is very noisy and social, I use that time to take my lunch as well as plan out my next day. That doesn’t require tons of concentration, and helps so that when I get in the next day I am ready to hit the ground on the goals for that day. Deep work is certainly on the booklist for 2020, and I am looking forward to reading the book in more detail. Once I am done, I will probably do a review on the podcast Chantal Laivaux and myself are working on. Until next time, happy researching.

Bye for now!

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