Deep Work 1,2 Punch

Here’s a “deep work” 1,2 punch that I have had some good results with.

  1. Walk and talk out a very clear plan. Record a voice memo. I use the Yealink BH71 Pro headset, which has amazing noise cancelling (for the microphone) and I look like a telemarketer on a hike. Later you can transcribe this with your favorite voice transcription tool. (Optionally, get ChatGPT to format the transcription for you.) It is very important to resist the urge to use your phone, just talk out the steps, talk out the framework, talk out the plan for what you will do. When you get distracted, bring it back to the plan. Make sure you have a clear outcome in mind.

  2. Block 90-120 minutes of “deep work” time to execute the plan. Try to get to the outcome, try to follow the steps. Maybe the plan was too ambitious, maybe you need to adjust the plan. But try to get to the outcome. Maybe you don’t need 99% of the structure you thought that you did (that’s what happened to me today). But you incept in yourself the idea of what you want to do, and then you do it. When you get distracted, bring it back to the outcome.

That’s it. Go get ’em, champ!

Go get 'em, champ.

P.S. - I came up with an interesting theory while performing Step 1 this morning (a distracting thought from the plan I was formulating), which is that Cal Newport is actually an AI being sent to us from the future to teach us how to focus like a machine. (Think: The Terminator of “Deep Work”.) I’m not sure how to test this hypothesis.