October 28, 2016

How many people in this office are actually working? Credit: Jesús Corrius / Flickr Creative Commons

How much real work do you do each day? Not just checking email and putting out metaphorical fires in the office, but work that finds long-term solutions to major problems. Cal Newport says the type of focus needed for this kind of deep work is hard to achieve in today’s office. He tells us how we can change that.

Three Takeaways:

  • Think glancing at Facebook isn’t a big deal? Well, according to Newport, “even a quick check of an email inbox or a social media website or a cellphone can actually leave a residue for 10 to 20 minutes that significantly reduces your cognitive capacity.”  
  • Newport says that open offices aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. He believes that to do focused work, you need a place without distractions. If you’re sitting right across from someone, that’s probably not going to happen. 
  • It’s easy to think that you’re getting a lot done, when you actually aren’t. Newport points out that we often mistake responding to emails and attending meetings with actually getting meaningful work done. 

More Reading:

innovation hub, NPR, Cal Newport, Kara Miller, WGBH

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