Deep Work => Flow

2019-05-09 · 7 · 1354

Este ainda é um rascunho publicado prematuramente e está sujeito a mudanças substanciais.

(Deep Work) => Flow - A proven Path to Satisfaction, de Robin Wieruch, é um resumo valioso de dois livros, um sobre deep work e outro sobre flow, e como ambos se relacionam. Robin é um programador e também leu On Writing Well (ele possui algumas notas sobre essa leitura também).

  • Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push you cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.
  • Flow can be produced by small things that cause active enjoyment rather than passive pleasure.
  • The flow session, that can be supported by deep work, has an impact on our self. The self grows with each challenge and with each opportunity we can improve ourselves as human being. The improvements of the self and the fulfilled activities on the way can lead to a satisfied and meaningful life.
  • “The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.”
  • Whenever you repeat something, a circuit in the brain will fire oftentimes and strengthen the skill like a muscle in your brain. You improve your self.
  • He sees the solution in becoming independent of external rewards. These rewards have to be substituted for internal rewards. For instance, life long learning, achieving worthwhile challenges or the fulfillment in helping others. Only then a human being is in full control of the self. In full control of happiness and sadness.
  • You need to use an “arsenal of routines and rituals designed with the science of limited willpower in mind to maximize the amount of deep work”. Smart routines make it possible to make less decisions and to do less balancing of different tasks.
  • The journalistic philosophy is the last and most advanced philosophy. In that approach you can rapidly switch between shallow to deep work. Yet we know that a disadvantage of multitasking is the usage of our finite willpower. That’s why the approach is only for advanced deep workers. Cal Newport says that “[it] require[s] a sense of confidence in your work.” and that “[it] requires a conviction that what you are doing is important and will succeed”. You can support the philosophy by preparing your deep work schedule in advance. It will help you to preserve your willpower.
  • Whenever you are going deep, you have to ritualize it. There are 3 basics to assist your deep work session: time, support and metrics.
  • You can operate similar to a business. For instance, imagine a software product that gets an additional feature. The team will come up with a minimum viable product (MVP) for the feature. But the MVP needs planning. A MVP has by definition a minimum yet valuable outcome. The same planning you would need for your own outcome. You have to “identify a small number of ambitious outcomes”.
  • I can recommend to read the book The One Thing by Gary Keller. It gives a clear guidance how you can deploy short term objectives that contribute to long term goals.
  • To track progress enables you to gather feedback about your efforts. Are you on track? Did you have a bad week? Maybe it is time to recalibrate your efforts based on the feedback.
  • The attention restoration theory (ART) claims that directed attention is a finite resource. If it exhausts, you will struggle to concentrate. It can be seen quite similar to the finite amount of willpower. The conclusion is that your deep work time per day is limited.
  • You need time to rest. Therefore you can deploy productive meditations
  • that’s how Cal Newport calls it - where you do physical work (fitness workout, house cleaning) and no mental work. Apart from that research says that spending time in nature improves your ability to concentrate.
  • End your day with a Shutdown Ritual
  • the Zeigarnik Effect . It is “the ability of incomplete tasks to dominate our attention”. You unconscious mind might help you to solve a problem until your next workday starts (Take a Nap).
  • Give your goals a hard deadline that is lesser than your estimated time. The shallow work will become dispensable when you have less time for the task at hand.
  • Research shows that a trained memory improves your ability to concentrate.
  • The schedule can be used to guide your working day. However you shouldn’t forcefully stick to the schedule. It should only guide you, but you can adjust it during the day. It should leave opportunities for improvisation and encourage spontaneity.
  • Deep work can be used as a technique to get into a state of flow. The state of flow can be your path in life to accomplish happiness, to be in control of your life and to be independent of social rewards. It can also be your path to accomplish challenges in your professional life.
  • Without consciousness we would know what happens around us, but we couldn’t give it any value.
  • A person can make himself happy regardless of the circumstances surrounding him. It depends on the direction of your attention.
  • “After each episode of flow a person becomes more of a unique individual, less predictable, possessed of rarer skills”. The self can grow when there is order in consciousness.
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi sees enjoyment as another component in our life. Enjoyment, in contrast to pleasure, can generate a flow experience. For instance, you can eat food with pleasure, because it is a need of your body. Or you can eat food with enjoyment. Mihaly takes a gourmet as an example for a person who enjoys to eat. The gourmet understands each ingredient in a meal and can focus attention to its different sensations. It is an accomplishment to bring up the attention and to experience the diversities in a meal.
  • It can happen in a competition too. The challenge can be an enjoyment. But only when you concentrate on the activity itself rather than beating your opponent or impressing the audience. The self will grow only when you want to perfect a skill rather than earning external rewards. It is when “the person is paying attention to the activity for its own sake; when it is not, the attention is focused on its consequences”.
  • The state of flow leaves no space for disorder in consciousness. It removes the awareness of the daily life, your worries and dreams, and you lose the sense of your self. The time in and after the state of flow can be seen as paradox. The self doesn’t grow during the flow session itself, but after it.
  • The irony is that oftentimes work is easier to enjoy than free time. Activities at work have the conditions to experience flow. Free time on the other hand is unstructured. It is a greater effort to shape it and to find and perform flow activities.
  • On a human beings highest potential, a person is able to translate threats into enjoyable challenges. It supports a person to stay in harmony and to live a satisfied life. The word autotelic derives from the Greek words auto and telos which mean self and goal. An autotelic experience describes a self-contained activity. It is an activity solely performed for the intrinsic rewards which strengthens the self. Flow is an autotelic experience.
  • When experience is intrinsically rewarding life is justified in the present, instead of being held hostage to a hypothetical future gain.”
  • “The autotelic individual grows beyond the limits of individuality by investing psychic energy [attention] in a system in which she is included. Because of this union of the person and the system, the self emerges at a higher level of complexity.”
  • “Flow drives individuals to creativity and outstanding achievement. The necessity to develop increasingly refined skills to sustain enjoyment is what lies behind the evolution of culture.”
  • “If you give your mind something meaningful to do throughout all your waking hours, you’ll end the day more fulfilled, and begin the next one more relaxed []” by Cal Newport.
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