Career

The Secret Way To Up Your A-Game At Work

By Grace Noles - 04 May 2018

The Secret Way To Up Your A-Game At Work

If you’re into a boring daily routine of eat, sleep, work, repeat, with no hope of a holiday any time soon, it might be time to change things up a bit! If you’re in need of a mighty pick me up, you’ve clicked onto the right article! Are you ready to have your life changed forever?

Author Cal Newport published his book Deep Work to help you reset your brain and get you into a complete and utter professional state. Deep work is working smarter and harder, to your absolute best ability and in complete concentration.

Here are Cal’s best tips for becoming the best you at work. Work hard, play hard peeps!

#1 Work Smarter

The first step to unlocking all your potential brainpower and concentration is to work routines and rituals into your daily life. Our willpower is like our energy bar in a video game and it goes down the more we use it. Sticking to a routine will keep your willpower full to the brim because you’ll be saving it for more challenging things than your daily workload. So, how can you really work out a routine that will have you pumped to start each day with a jump and a kick? Start working completely isolated for a part of your day, doing intense work only. Make sure you’re tackling one single task to completion at a time. This should be 3-4 hours a day of independent and consuming work.

#2 Drain The Shallows

Stop stressing over shallow work tasks. Things like emailing, printing, and photocopying need to be done but they should be done basically subconciously, without occupying too much of your time or brain. Group these mundane tasks together and schedule a block of shallow tasks for each day and save your energy for deep work blocks. Having an alternation between deep and shallow work will get your brain ticking and programmed to get down to business when it comes to the important stuff.

#3 Organise Your Work

The only way you’ll actually be able to buckle down and start your work is to plan, plan, plan! Pencil in your dedicated daily blocks of deep work in your diary and stick to it. Set out your workspace exactly how you like it, and then set yourself critical goals.  It may be tough to begin with but once you begin to hold yourself accountable for your progress, it’s going to become second nature to get this block of work done each day.

Remember, it only takes 21 days to make a habit!

#4 Learn To Love Boredom

In this day and age we thrive off instant entertainment and constant attention—Newport says this needs to end. The only way you’ll be able to get into deep work is if you are able to resist the temptation of mindless occupation. Deep Work suggests the idea of productive meditation, meaning completing tasks like showering, exercising and driving while focusing your attention on a single work-related problem to produce a solution. Stop worrying about the little things, put your brain to productive use.

#5 Quit Social Media

We know, WE KNOW. This is near impossible, but we’re suggesting this step for advanced deep workers only. Do we really need to explain why social media is bad for you? Newport explains that we should only use a social media platform if it helps aid our professional goals (so LinkedIn, you’re safe). Try staying off social media for 30 days and then ask yourself: was it impossible and did anyone honestly care that you weren’t online every minute of the day? Brutual, but true. Just make sure to keep your Urban List email notifications turned on.

#6 Switch Off

While it’s important to have schedule your day between blocks of deep and shallow work, you also need to set a certain time to switch off and start rewinding. Try some of these tips to end your day like the successful superstar you are!

Need more tips? Here's how to manage time like a pro

Image Credit: The Devil Wears Prada

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