Hoopalicious' Blog

deep work

As I near the close of the current 100 day challenge (day 87!!), I am already thinking of what my next 100 day challenge is going to be about. I have gotten SO much out of this one. I am starting to see that living my life in 100 day chunks, with clearly defined goals and new habits in each one, can lead me to crafting a life I am inspired by. I have recently been turned onto a concept called "deep work". Cal Newport wrote a book on it, which I highly recommend (even thought I have yet to finish it), but here is a video synopsis that is just awesome:

I feel like this one skill, when achieved, has the power to radically change ones life. Have you ever noticed that you can go a whole day having done all the things, but still not really be any closer to your BIG goals? I think this is because most of us accomplish lots of SHALLOW work everyday, but very little deep work. Shallow work is things like answering emails, updating your social media or website and other low attention needing things. Shallow work is also important, but it feels like we are only treading water, rather than making it to the shore of the life of our dreams. I have BIG goals. Goals that will need my undivided attention to accomplish them. I know I will have to learn how to set aside distraction free time, and that this is currently a skill I am lacking. Not for long though! 

The cool thing about trying on a new habit for 100 days is that all the peripheral things around that goal will become highlighted and shift as well. While I won't REALLY know what will shift and change as a result of instilling a new habit of near daily deep work, I can anticipate that the following will have to drop off the map... or at least take a back seat;

  1. I will have to let go of the social media time suck. This is what I am both most excited about and dreading. I am aware that I am addicted to social media distraction... it makes me miserable, but is also realllly hard to put down. If I dedicate myself to 3 hours a day of deep work, I will HAVE to say a big fat NO to social media.. for at least those 3 hours. This alone will be life changing for me in ways I can't even begin to imagine.  
  2. I will have to schedule my days. I can definitely be a, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl. While this is easy and fun, it doesn't really net me big results in the real life accomplishment area. Getting a handle on scheduling time to dive into the big, important and meaningful projects in my life will undoubtedly yield far more satisfying results. 
  3. I will have to go to bed earlier. I have found myself going to bed near 11pm every day. Seems like not that late, but it makes it difficult to get up early and get a jump on my day. If I know I am diving into 3 hours of deep work in the AM, I will be much more likely to be sure and get to bed at least an hour or so earlier. I know that when I go to bed early, and get up early I feel better and have more energy all day long. Looking forward to that! 

In a way, this one goal of Deep Work 5 days a week for 3 hours, will accomplish 3 more goals all at the same time... mainly breaking my social media addiction, being more proactive in scheduling my days and going to bed earlier. So, why not just do these three things now? I have found that without a BIG "why", I am less likely to stick to these kind of individual goals. "break your social media addiction" is kind of nebulous and has too many arms reaching into too many different areas of my life. By setting a goal that I can't do WITHOUT breaking my social media addiction, it allows me to go at it with clarity, boundaries and a big inspiring vision. The vision of what I can accomplish doing deep work 5 days a week is enough to make the suffering I will endure while breaking the noose of FaceBook bearable. 

So, what big new life changing habit do YOU want to take on? Do it for 100 days and let all your friends know! I am curious to see what you come up with ;) 

xo ~ Anah

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