In continuation with my previous post about Deep Work, I wanted to share my experiences doing Deep focused work. Over the past couple of months I have been doing the following-
- Having different time blocks for doing work and noting them on post it notes in the office and at home. Here is an example below-
I also use an app called Focus Keeper which helps me track my time during these time blocks. I switch between the app and post it notes based on my mood. It tracks time and also shows how many time blocks you have done during the day as shown below
- Once I finish documenting all the time blocks for the day, I record it in the Deep Work Chart. I created this chart to see how much deep focused work I can do every day, week and month. My deep work chart for the past 2 months are as shown below
September Month Deep Work Chart
October Month Deep Work Chart
As you may have noticed, I started off with a simple template and documented the Date and Time spent on deep work each day. Then, I started getting confused on what date referred to which day of the week. So created an extra column marking the days of the week too; in my template. You can download this deep work template for your own use by clicking on the below button
Analysis of my Deep Work-
Before I start my analysis, I should mention that, below are the things I consider deep work from my context
- Focused time block of work where there are NO interruptions
- Doing only 1 single task during the time block
- I DO NOT consider working out, reading a book, having an uninterrupted conversation with a friend/loved one as deep work (for some this may be deep work)
- A majority of my deep work are only for my side hustle activities like blogging, writing, working on my youtube channel, website, speaking and working on other creative things which I am currently doing
- When I am at my day job, I try to do 2-3 time blocks on tasks related to my day job. But, I am finding it hard with a lot of interruptions which happens during the course of the day; as I work in the office and NOT remotely
The above being said, lets get into the breakdown of my deep work hours
September Deep Work – 47 hours
October Deep Work – 58.65 hours
In a day, we have 24 hours. So per week, we have 24 hours x 7 days = 168 hours.
Out of the 168 hours, say we get 8 hours of sleep everyday, then our sleep hours/week = 56 hours
So, Total hours/week for deep work = 168 – 56 = 112 hours
If you have a 9-5 day job like me, sometimes it gets really hard to do deep work because we have
- Unnecessary meetings
- Lot of context switching between e-mails, calls, co-workers coming to your desk etc.
- Wi-Fi issues
And so on……
So this being said, lets take out the hours you work for your day job from this equation. During your day job, you would have to do the work assigned to you; no matter whether it is interesting or not and cannot do your side hustle stuff on company time and dime (I think this is un-ethical)
This leaves us with
8 hours/day in our 9-5 job = 56 hours
Total deep work a person can do with a day job and having side hustle stuff like me would be = 112 hours – 56 hours =
In summary, we have 72 hours no matter what; to do deep work every single week. For me, I value my personal life and having fun during the course of the week. So out of the 72 hours I have, I think I am doing pretty good by having an average of 52.82 hours of deep work every month.
Imagine all the things you can do in these 72 hours? When people say they are really busy, I would advise trying to do a break down like this to see where you are investing your time. TIME IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASSET YOU HAVE AND YOU NEED TO PROTECT IT. Remember, anything is possible if you respect your time.
My goal is to continuously keep working towards increasing my deep work hours and try to find a balance between how much deep work I can do while balancing my regular work, my personal life and my fun time too.
It is a work in progress…
If you have done similar kind of experiments or thoughts in this post, please feel free to share them as comments here or you can contact me at – http://www.rajsubra.com/contact/.
For the experiments I have started doing, check out this post – http://www.rajsubra.com/2017/09/13/selfexperiment/
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