I'm trying to be mindful during my day and I walk to and from work every day which is around 9km total. The beneficial effects (on attention, memory etc.) are twofold. In the morning it wakes me up and by the time I'm in the office I'm ready to dive into my work straight away. I see a lot of people that arrive drowsy or sleepy in the office and they need at least an hour to actually start doing anything meaningful. In the evening I use the walk as a "shutdown" ritual after which I don't think about work anymore. I also take a 30-40 minute walk during lunch time. It's a good point during midday to relax a little bit and be refreshed for the second half of the day. Overall for the day I walk around 11-12km. Health benefits of walking aside I really see how it's making me more focused and I do better work because of it.
The gist of it seemed to be: if you need to do work that is mentally challenging, block off large chunks of time to do that work b/c interruptions are more disruptive that you think they are.
It would make a good blog post and I'm sure there are hundreds of them on the topic but I don't get why it needs to be a book other than he convinced someone to publish it for him.
With that said I think it's a well written and researched piece. I'll finish it because even though I'm already using some of the techniques provided inside, it's good to reinforce the things you know but it's also good to see things from another perspective. Like for example I've never really given thought to the monastic or bi-modal style of deep work although they are reality for a lot of people. Small things like that are valuable (at least to me).
I wonder sometimes just how the brain manages to deal with the influx of all these new, abstract ideas on a daily basis. Doesn't seem like there's much time to digest it all.
But if this works, if it really is an effective tool for learning, I could see it as a good way of bringing clarity into your life as your brain synthesizes patterns and makes sense of what it's been working on for the past few hours.
The indecisiveness that people often report feeling during the day may just be a lack of time spent consolidating all the information you've acquired up to that point.
Maybe it's a sign you need to take a step back and do absolutely nothing.
I do that every once in a while. After enough of it, I end up feeling full of inspiration and desire to start working on something. It's a good way to kickstart little personal projects.
Only problem is the amount of downtime needed for that effect seems somewhat long. I wish I could do it more often.
Agree on that, I tried switching to the running to make this time more productive but it wasn't the same, somehow walking has a special place between getting relaxed and active for my body.
Especially interesting since one of the most popular podcasts is also run by a very reflected meditation proponent (Sam Harris).
Often times the wheels just keep turning and I'll forget I was even listening to a podcast, and spend the majority of the time listening to myself think.
I absolutely agree with the argument you mentioned with short term tasks like vacuuming, dishes, etc. If you don't have time to get fully invested (over an hour) it's much better to just listen to your own thoughts.
The same goes for falling asleep, where I used to listen to podcasts but they got replaced by YouTube videos which I just listen to. I remember the time when I dealt with my thoughts before falling asleep. That was maybe 10 years ago.
And kids nowadays will probably never get to know that feeling.
I, too, need something to distract me in order to really wind down.
Astounding. I assumed that the high performing test subjects would have used some sort of special memorization technique, but in fact doing and thinking nothing actually wins out.
There's nothing worse than downtime! Five nines baby!
But, now that I am using meal replacements the actual time that I take to eat lunch and or breakfast goes from 15 minutes to nearly 1-5 minutes which I spend preparing the meal replacement and ingesting it. Since I now have 25 minutes left and I typically eat at around 11am when most people eat around 1pm I have actually started either meditating or doing nothing.
Going on for other ergonomics that should be done during work and or mental tasks remember to check that your workspace is paired with a good chair and that your monitor is at eye level and your mouse and keyboard or other input devices don't require you to reach.
Another thing that is handy is rewarding yourself for a task not necessarily with food but with some form of exercise. After I complete a task using a computer I typically take a victory lap. This seems to actually cause positive reinforcement by rewarding myself with that victory lap. I know that dog trainers will use a toy instead of food to reward their dogs. It also will help your ergonomics and could help with back problems. I find that walking and or doing planking removes back pain for me (I'm 31).
It's gotten to the point that I need to bring pen and paper with me into practice.
I just closed my eyes in the tub a few minutes ago and BAM... another problem solved.
Removing stimulation (visually by closing your eyes) is an incredible way to fast track critical thinking.
I wonder if there's also a relation to the 'doorway = change of context' in there somewhere? It literally gets you thinking outside the box.
This right here is the essence of "Meditation". No gimmicks, No bullshit, nothing.
Stages from the Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali - "Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi".
You can do this instant to instant on any current activity you are engaged in (aka "Mindfulness") or for extended periods of time on literally any one objective/activity.
+1 on it being the type of game.
The next time someone asks if you're working on a side project, say "no". Carefully notice how their interest quickly turns into contempt. Similarly, people don't want to hear that you're "taking it easy" or "doing nothing" this weekend. That's literally all I tell people at work, and it just turns people off.
I have a client that I tell folks frequently they need to rest and reflect in order to improve their leverage and understanding how to better manage their growth, since they’re just exhausted and do stupid stuff all the time as a result. So the simplest observations I offer they think I’m a genius for.
> It seems to benefit young and old people alike
Oh wow this is science.
I envy David Robson at the BBC, for whom it is apparently effortless to take time away. Because it certainly isn't without effort for me to not accidentally find myself back at my desk, late in the evening, working on just one more thing.