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Deep Work and the 30-Hour Method for Learning a New Skill (2018) (azeria-labs.com)
452 points by jayliew on July 15, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 87 comments

It's easy to dismiss "Deep Work" articles for their use of buzzwords and pop-psychology, but this sort of structured language really does help drive the point home for some people.

The core concept of Deep Work isn't really controversial. Everyone knows that hard problems require focus, but that doesn't seem to stop people from surrounding themselves with notifications and distractions. It also doesn't stop many companies from burying their employees under a deluge of Slack notifications and must-respond-immediately e-mail expectations.

Once you start putting a name on it (It's not focus, it's "Deep Work (TM)"!) it becomes an easier sell to many (though not all) of the people who need to hear it. Attaching an explanation, a methodology, or a movement to something really does seem to amplify the importance.

It's the same effect that makes "Dopamine fasting" more poignant than suggesting that people take a day off of watching TV, checking their phones every 10 minutes, and browsing time-waster websites all throughout the day. They're the same thing in concept, but once you attach a catchy name and/or a semi-scientific explanation to something, many people start taking it more seriously.

In my time mentoring junior devs, one of the biggest predictors of future success was a person's ability to sit down, focus, and get work done. Many college grads are coming from an environment where their classes are neatly divided into 1-hour classes spread throughout the day. They're pulled in many directions by their phones, social engagements, activities, homework, and classes. They get in the habit of only focusing for 1-2 hours at most before going on to the next thing. Once they graduate and have to sit in one place and work on one thing for 8 hours a day, many of them struggle. If I try to lecture them on the importance of sustained focus and minimizing distractions, I sound like an out of touch old guy. If I instead say "Hey, we practice Deep Work here. Let me get you a copy of a Deep Work book so you can join us" then they're on board.

So you may not like the branding. You may not like seeing the same topic rehashed over and over again. But practically speaking, I don't care how it's accomplished. As long as it gets more people to take sustained focus seriously (both employees and managers alike) then I'm all for it.

I'm grad age (22), but I dropped out of uni. I don't understand how people get anything done if they only spend 1-2hrs on it. It takes me that long to get into a flow state and become productive, then ideally I would spend at least 3-4 more hours working productively. Based on the article, I definitely fall into the Monastic category.

> Once they graduate and have to sit in one place and work on one thing for 8 hours a day, many of them struggle.

Funnily enough, I'm finding that a work environment isn't actually very conducive with doing work. I spend most of my day being distracted with very little opportunity to focus on something.

> If I try to lecture them on the importance of sustained focus and minimizing distractions, I sound like an out of touch old guy. If I instead say "Hey, we practice Deep Work here. Let me get you a copy of a Deep Work book so you can join us" then they're on board

I would have the opposite reaction. "Deep Work" is cringy, but if you said "we value sustained focus and minimizing distractions" I would be very interested.

I like this idea of phrasing it as branding.

In my experience nobody sits in one place and works on one thing for 8 hours a day. I am tempted to say that it's not only rare but it's undesirable.

I can work for approximately 5 hours straight without needing any sort of break; but part of becoming a more senior developer was to realize that this is actually a really bad thing for me. The “sweet spot” for me appears to be either 1.5 or 2 hours long. If I have some urgency I will literally shut down my laptop and move to a coffee shop or some other physical context and spend at least 15 minutes taking in the new ambiance before opening up the laptop and resuming a separate 2-hour burst of focused work.

The reason is basically that the flow state is good for one very important parameter that we might call ‘grit,’ the actual overcoming of pain and moving a project to completion... but it fails of course at a whole range of metacognitive processes which I might imperfectly class along at least three separate axes as... well, the words are not great but ‘creativity’ and ‘organization’ and ’empathy’ work. Flow states are really good for when you know what needs to be done and how to do it because your project is well-organized. They can be poor for stepping back and thinking “is this really the best way to satisfy that person’s needs?” and for stepping back and thinking “is there some more powerful idea I could leverage here which would make all of these sorts of problems just go away, even if it is a little strange given how the system exists right now?” and for simply asking “how can I clean things up now to make my life easier in the future?”. Even if you have individuals who by their personalities simply exude grit and radiate it for everyone else, which is an absolute treasure to have, you may want to balance them out with people who have a sort of moralistic imperative of “this is how a system like this should be built.” I don’t want to work with just hackers—but with hackers, engineers, dreamers, and evangelists—on my dev team. Either as separate people or as separate hats which people take on over the course of the day.

>They can be poor for stepping back and thinking “is this really the best way to satisfy that person’s needs?”

This is something I stumbled onto recently. I've been hellbent on making sure I had no distractions and could hit that 5 hour flow state, only to find smaller chunks gave me more points to reflect on the state of the work and redirect it more effectively.

Thanks for capturing it into words.

The article itself suggests breaking deep work sessions into no more than 4 hours at a time and suggests several "styles" of performing deep work in terms of fitting individual schedules and personality.

I greatly appreciate this, as someone who has had a very difficult time avoiding distractions (slack, email, meetings, etc) and tries to convey that I need time to not context switch constantly. I know I'm not the only one because other developers I work with have the same complaints but we keep winding up in environments where it's just kosher and "its how we do things" with regard to meetings and interruptions.

Do you tell managers this as well? That the developers need deep focus time? I've been fighting for this my entire career, it's nearly always our managers not shielding us from interruptions that have been my problem.

I'm not sure if the distractions you're referring to are people just scrolling through twitter all day and not working or actual work distractions.

> Do you tell managers this as well? That the developers need deep focus time?

It's a delicate balance. When I was in a manager-of-managers position, I didn't explicitly micromanage how managers ran their teams or run their days. People don't respond well to that. Instead, I tried to lead by example by setting my own focus hours, giving ample notice for upcoming meetings, setting expectations for response times at the tops of e-mail messages, and so on. If you try to create an atmosphere that fosters sustained focus throughout the whole company, people tend to notice. If a specific manager becomes bad about interruptions, we'd have an offline conversation.

> I'm not sure if the distractions you're referring to are people just scrolling through twitter all day and not working or actual work distractions.

It's not an either-or. It's always both. It's not uncommon for juniors devs to complain that their workplace doesn't let them focus while their phone buzzes every 5 minutes from some notifications that they've opted-in to receive.

Work distractions tend to trigger people to check Twitter, HN, Reddit, or other sites before they get back to work. It's easy to turn a 5-minute work interruption into a 15-minute break because getting back into focus is an uphill battle. It's much easier and more enjoyable to catch up on those notifications on your phone.

The difference is that people tend to overlook the distraction of notifications they like, and instead blame everything on the notifications for distractions they don't like.

One of the most valuable skills people can learn is how to return to focus quickly. That's not to say that distractions are okay, but it's up to the person to cultivate a habit of descending back into their work as efficiently as possible when interrupted.

> When I was in a manager-of-managers position

Why did you quit your manager-of-managers position?

Not OP, but have limited experience in a manager-of-managers role.

For me, it's miserable. It's like knowing work is being done, but you aren't there doing it. You don't always properly understand it, the people you're managing don't, and it feels like you're the bureaucracy slowing things down.

For me at least.


Gotta say, to me it has exactly the opposite effect. I immediately dislike approaches based on buzzwords like this, as my bullshit alert instinctively goes off.

That's fine. If you have your own system or motivations for focusing, you don't really need any of these blog posts anyway.

My point was that it's important to recognize that "This doesn't work for me" isn't equivalent to "This doesn't work for anyone."

In this case, the Deep Work concept and associated writings really do work for a lot of people. If they don't work for individuals, that's fine too, but it's not really productive to try to detract from the material without proposing a better alternative.

Also, no one will dispute that there is a lot of questionable or bad self-help material out there, but that doesn't mean that you should immediately discredit and disregard 100% of it. If your skepticism heuristic is so sensitive that everything gets dismissed before you even get into reading it, you're going to throw the good out with the bad.

Mainly I don't like that the term is just used to sell stuff, like books, now. The entire idea can be encapsulated in two words: deep work.

I'm in complete agreement here. One of my personal gripes has been the branding of climate issues as 'Climate change'. In my opinion this should really be 'Climate stability'. It's easier to create an environmental standard and build infrastructure and behaviours that support it.

This is great.

I read this article years ago and have logged about 1,800 hours using this system.

Like many, when it comes to personal projects, I want to accomplish something and enjoy myself. The problem is that those are often at odds with each other: accomplishing something worthwhile requires hard work that isn't always enjoyable.

I've modified the system slightly to a "20-Hour Method" but the idea is the same.

I decide on something I would like to learn or work on and focus on it for 20 hours. Remarkably, I felt the weight of this decision for the first time, I knew my decision would direct a significant amount of time and effort. I never felt this before, because I knew my decisions would only last until the first small obstacle.

This system is how I balance the trade-off between doing what I enjoy and pushing through the hard times. It's not a motivational trick to me. It is the objective way I have decided to balance the trade-off between hard work and constant enjoyment. With few exceptions, I know that the only way out is through, so I do the hard work, and when 20-Hours rolls around, I often find I do want to continue, even though I hated some parts along the way.

There was a really good Ted Talk to this effect called "The First Twenty Hours"!

link: https://youtu.be/5MgBikgcWnY

I find this to be true. It's not that I can't enjoy extremely productive work, but that's only possible when my interest directly line up with the skillset I need, which is very, very rare.

Otherwise it's a difficult, tedious grind.

I’d love to read that blog post

Thank you!

After readin this I am going to try it out.

The sad thing is that the way the software industry is structured, it creates environments where juniors are doing the deep work and people with more experience are doing shallow logistical work.

We have it totally backwards.

A lot of shallow logistic work requires domain knowledge the juniors don’t have.

Maybe pairing would help here as a way to get more of this knowledge transferred more quickly so the shallow work can be spread out?

A lot of deep work requires domain knowledge the juniors don't have.

Upper management should also be doing deep work. Middle management should be doing the logistics of translating the results of upper management's deep work into something that guides their team's deep work.

Thank you, I hadn't arrived at that insight until you articulated it.

This is probably the main reason why I burned out last year (1 year before COVID-19). I started programming when I was 12, but after 30 years of acquiring knowledge and experience, I'd find myself getting blank stares at meetings when I explained the crux of a problem and how to go about solving it. The team just perceived me as slow and out of touch, without realizing that I had just short-circuited everything they were discussing. They'd arrive at the same conclusion I did in a few weeks, but by then we'd be on to the next challenge. Rinse, repeat.

So instead of getting into the zone on hard problems, I found myself going through the motions to satisfy productivity metrics slapping duct tape over junior-level spaghetti code. It was unfathomable to them that their technique was at fault because they were so deep in what they were working on that they couldn't see the forest for the trees.

I've decided to take a break for a year or two and am currently doing handyman work for a good friend to make rent. I'm healthier and happier than I have been in many years. So for anyone reading this who feels any unease about where the tech industry is heading, I just want to reassure you that you can try new things and the world won't come to an end. You're capable and have resilience that maybe you haven't had to tap into for a while. Maybe we're just coming up against walls that we can't easily climb ourselves, and we just need to wait for the industry to catch up to what we already know.

TL;DR: my life is basically the cliche ending of Office Space right now, but that happens periodically and that's ok.

Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed reading your comment.

Every industry has this where the juniors are doing the deep grunt work that required focus and hours of manual work, while the seniors manage the overall strategy, deal with business relationships, and oversee/mentor the juniors.

Do you want people with an inferior knowledge of the complexities of the system making the large, broadly-impacting decisions?

Someone's gonna get the less experienced junior somewhere.

this seems a bit like a false dichotomy - I don't think that's how the software industry is structured. Maybe it's how companies with dev teams in _certain_ industries are structured. I've even had managers in the past who did deep work in addition to doing some of the more logistical work of project planning / story breakdown and it's almost a basic expectation that a senior engineer be hands on with the most complex, business-critical systems

I agree if companies don't have non-management tracks for experienced engineers. That does result in the environment you're talking about in about the worst way where your most experienced eng's are unhappy / hate managing and inexperienced eng's are stuck with bad managers

Interesting that this is currently #1 on HN, but (as of right now) 100% of the comments are dismissive & derogatory.

How does this happen? Is it just easier to leave a negative comment than to say something meaningful if you enjoyed the article?

Positive comments that don't "add any value" are heavily discouraged on HN. Unless you have some deep expertise or experience that you can use to expand on the article, it's usually best to not comment.

Negative comments that don't add value are not viewed the same way for some reason.

It's also much, much easier to be against something than to be for something.

All you need to do is find some flaw or imperfection, comment on it, and so long as you're not wrong... you'll at least be counted amongst those making valid observations; even if what you're pointing out isn't fatal to the proposition or fails to win the big picture case.

Making a positive assertion however is much more difficult. You have to not only find a valid observation but then be convincing that the supporting observation makes a compelling case in favor of the proposition; perhaps with supporting evidence, etc.

So a flaw can stand on its own and be factually true, but a supporting argument must be part of a larger framework of support to have meaning. And I'm not so sure this is wrong by itself. Positive statements and assertions should have solid foundations to win the day.

Where I think we go wrong is we allow the negative arguments win the day for an opposing position. We let the ease of someone making a negative argument confuse us into thinking that person's opposing proposition is right and is so doing we fall into the trap of false alternatives. Current public discourse, speaking in the US, has taken this problem to the extreme. Activists come out against one thing or another, often times with legitimate complaints and gain public support in their opposition... but then get away with translating that shared opposition into support for a different idea without having ever had to make the positive argument in favor of it.

A critic can be correct in making a criticism... but that doesn't make them right.

On the other hand I view a comment after down-vote with the reason, crucial for constructive criticism.

That makes sense. Downvotes here seem to be more meaningful than in most other forums.

I haven’t read the article yet, so I will not comment on it directly. I was recently very demotivated in my work and started reading the book “Deep Work” and the concept really helped me get back on track. I think the concept of deep work is not only very beneficial for knowledge workers, but also essential to our long term well being. Because of the book, I was able to make changes in my work, life and personal priorities and I’m far, far happier and less stressed. Ignoring the importance of deep work (to use the articles title), is a recipe for burnout and disatisfaction. If I had been dismissive and passed the book over, when it was recommended to me, I’d still be stuck in a rut, on the brink of burnout and likely heading towards depression.

That's often the case with HN posts. I think people find an article valuable they simply upvote, but if people don't find an article valuable they leave a comment explaining why.

I find it more likely its either up-vote stuffing, or direct intervention from a HN moderator.

There's only a handful of HN moderators and it's unlikely they have the time to worry about that.

What's your reasoning?

"I agree" adds little to the conversation. "I disagree and here's why" adds more, and is more emotionally satisfying to write.

Though it's not uncommon to see posts of the "I agree, and here's an anecdote as to why" variety getting heavily upvoted, but those are harder to write, and so less frequent.

Middlebrow dismissals are popular on HN.


Mine[0] wasn't "dismissive or derogatory." In fact, I clearly complimented the author.

I just mentioned that I have a personal aspect (not actually an advantage, at times), that sort of gives me the same thing.

I realize that people that are heavily invested in orthodoxies can sometimes consider all "non-positive" feedback to be "derogatory," but that's on them.

There's a lot of really good, decent, intelligent, skilled people in this world, and the vast majority of them manage to be that way without any mentoring from me. I applaud and support them; but I also won't insist that they meet my personal bars, and will push back, if they insist that I meet theirs (not all the time -sometimes, they have every right to expect me to meet their bar. This is not one of those times).

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23846545

Yes, there are a lot more neutral to positive comments now (including yours, which wasn't posted yet when I made my original observation). I am glad to see a more balanced discussion on what seems to be a well-liked article, as judged by votes.

Upvoting is an easier way to "bookmark" a submission than it is to "favorite" it. Favoriting requires clicking into the comments first.

People who care enough to comment on the title (ha) or add comments are an overlapping group.

>How does this happen? Is it just easier to leave a negative comment than to say something meaningful if you enjoyed the article?

For one, posts are often upvoted based on their title/subject, and only afterwards are read and evaluated for their content.

What is that based on? Anecdotally the folks around me right now agree a common flow is:

1. See hn link.

2. Go directly to comments.

3. Top comment is seen as counter argument to the article.

4. Discuss on premise defined by top comment (not article).

Unless there’s a way to safe for sure (ex HN weighs in with analytic data) it’s all speculation.

An upvote of a comment, too.

Maybe vote stuffing on the submission ?

"The importance of deep work" seems so fundamental that you'd think everybody would be aware of it by now - yet open offices are nearly universal (or at least were before this corona virus panic started). Is it that the people making the decisions genuinely don't understand "deep work", or that they think everybody can do their "deep work" for four years in college and be done with deep work for the rest of their lives?

Open office plans were a reaction to teams that didn't communicate effectively (or at all). The idea was that putting everyone in the same area encouraged communication and cohesion. It also allowed for spaces that were chic and 'creative', because somehow creativity is impossible in offices that have the aesthetic appeal of a solitary confinement cell.

Honestly, I believe most of the value derived from open office plans is that it is harder to fake work and fake productivity. Now, everything that people were doing is out in the open and provides some measure of accountability. Maybe I'm being a bit too cynical, but I think that's a big contributor as to why open office environments are common.

And partially yes, it's because some people making the decisions don't understand the value of 'deep work' and the environments that encourage it.

While I'm sure there were elements of communications and observation in the widespread move towards open plan offices, I think it's very likely that real estate costs were at least an equally significant driver.

I had the pleasure to work in a genuine had-a-door office environment from 1997 through 2002. It was amazing for focus, productivity, and I found our employee communications to be generally excellent as well. I'm sure it was also stratospherically expensive on a per-dev basis, but probably still a rounding error relative to our compensation.

I hate open-plan offices. Deeply. I also see my overall "building occupancy charges" every month and am acutely aware of the pressures to be frugal. (I think real-estate is the wrong place to do it, but I understand the bean-counting view which is very apparent and productivity of expensive employees is not readily apparent [in a dollars/cents way].)

In my experience, the people making those decisions are aware of the benefits of deep work. But optimizing for it has commonly been a lower priority than other things like the ability to drop in and interrupt developers since that directly benefits them immediately.

I just got confirmation that one of the true reasons was "control", ie. being able to have an eye on every worker. Many managers feel out of touch in the modern workplace, so it's not just employees who are frustrated. The next "fix" in the eternal swing of the pendulum is of course: easier access and overview on workers.

The problem is, nobody else care about your "deep work", or benefit much, except yourself. The pendulum always swings too far, and turn back..

Ah, I thought we were just about due for a revisit on the importance of Deep Work. I'll take this an an opportunity to paste one of the highlights from the book I found to be interesting:

"As the journalist Daniel Coyle surveys in his 2009 book, The Talent Code , these scientists increasingly believe the answer includes myelin—a layer of fatty tissue that grows around neurons, acting like an insulator that allows the cells to fire faster and cleaner. To understand the role of myelin in improvement, keep in mind that skills, be they intellectual or physical, eventually reduce down to brain circuits. This new science of performance argues that you get better at a skill as you develop more myelin around the relevant neurons, allowing the corresponding circuit to fire more effortlessly and effectively. To be great at something is to be well myelinated. This understanding is important because it provides a neurological foundation for why deliberate practice works. By focusing intensely on a specific skill, you’re forcing the specific relevant circuit to fire, again and again, in isolation. This repetitive use of a specific circuit triggers cells called oligodendrocytes to begin wrapping layers of myelin around the neurons in the circuits—effectively..."

This seems to be supportive to the argument for deep work. Happy myelination, everyone.

Science-y explanations like this, especially anything involving brain structure or imaging, totally put me off. Almost always they're simply plucked from the research by someone who has no deep knowledge of the subject in order to provide an argument from authority.

Great discussion there, thanks for linking!

Almost by definition, the modern workplace* has zero tolerance for deep work.

Has anyone made their workplace compatible with deep work?

* by which I mean notifications, Slack, Zoom, email, meetings, open offices, sprints, etc.

It's a nice site, and she does seem to be quite qualified. I applaud her drive to "give back."

That said, I have found that I don't really need this, myself. That's mostly because I'm a bit "on the spectrum," and tend to drop into what I call my "fugue state." When I am in this state, I can churn out a vast amount of really good code, with almost no working documentation, as I can keep a fairly complex system in my head, applying adjustments as I meet friction. In fact, the most common reaction I get from people is "You didn't write that!". It's very draining. I usually come out of the state feeling exhausted and, sometimes, sick (I once puked my guts out, after spending about 10 hours, working on a painting). I used to have an employee that was a lot more "spectrumish" than I am, and he easily knocked my best efforts into a cocked hat. His work was stunning. I suspect that it still is.

But that kind of thing is very individual, and can't be taught. I have written a great deal about my personal process, but I feel it is more expository, as opposed to educational (https://medium.com/chrismarshallny). I am quite aware that I am nowhere near the "top of the heap," and that there are prodigies out there that, on a bad day, can blow away my best.

Sounds very similar to Hyperfocus[1] from the AD(H)D world which is something I became very interested in for a while. There are certain subjects that can sustain a state of hyperfocus for me and certain subjects that make me question if I'd had enough sleep. On the surface this sounds a bit psuedo-sciency as if asked anyone would say "yeah I also have things that interest me or don't..." but there's certainly something extra going on when you experience it first hand.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperfocus

Well, there's reason that there's so many programmers with at least mild autism. One of the symptoms is obsessive focus. Can work wonders in coding.

Otherwise, I tend to ignore most of these "connect to your inner power" things.

I don't dispute their validity (usually), and have friends that have done things like the Tony Robbins courses and Lifespring, and whatnot. It seems to have helped them. It's just not the way I feel like going.

I do have a personal process that depends on a fairly rigorous self-discipline. Not many "shortcuts." Does seem to work.

My main problem is guiding hyperfocus to the thing that needs to get done right now.

I have a weird anxiety avoidance that makes me willing to do almost anything, including very hard things, if it isn't the thing that is necessary. I can hyperfocus on just about anything else.

I've slowly learned to redirect back to the necessary thing, but its been a decades long path to overcome the tendency.

Meditation helped me out with my ADHD way, way more than I expected. It took about a month of daily 10-20 minute practice but it gave me this control over my racing thoughts and shiny distractions that felt completely foreign to me. Like oh, I do have this willpower muscle I just haven't been using it much.

I'm speaking in past tense because since covid I haven't meditated and my mind has become a racing mess. If you can will yourself into doing it I'd highly recommend trying it. You can always stop if you don't see a benefit.

I'm tired of those self improvement hack 2 cents worth. Do what you love people, just focus on life and don't use all the time process. Process is made for stupid repetitive task, not learning.

This society is so individualist, that we talk only about the self.

Maybe that was possible 50-100 years ago when you were not living in a global village where everyone around the world can come and knock on your door and demand your attention. Nowadays we need to constantly remind ourselves that we need to find time for uninterrupted focus. And these articles about deep work are just that for me, reminders.

> I'm tired of those self improvement hack 2 cents worth. Do what you love people, just focus on life and don't use all the time process.

Sounds like you've found a self improvement hack.

What's the greatest accomplishment your aware of that didn't involve some "time process"?

These articles are derivatives of derivatives. They become very tedious and repetitive.

A substance-less complaint can become both helpful and a more honest critique simply by including a link to something less derivative.

https://mrbartonmaths.com/resourcesnew/8.%20Research/Explici... There you go... the source from which Malcolm Gladwell and thousands of his imitators have pulled.

Here’s another for those writing the “get things done” derivative.


Ad nauseum

How to achieve a flow state easily:

0. Exercise (+5min HIIT)

1. Turn-off distractors (ex. notifications, dumbphone, etc.)

2. Breathe & drink a glass of water

3. Put a timer with your effort (Forget pomodoro!)

4. Put the tab your working on

5. Press F11

6. Start working

7. GOTO step 2. IF sleepy or tired add step 0.

Would it be optimal for my self-development to take a job I can perform entirely with shallow work if I only have 4 hours of deep work available per day and no responsibilities outside of my job? Assume I spend my time after my job is finished to develop myself. It may be selfishly optimal to choose the least challenging jobs.

I'm so tired of these articles that rehash the same idea over and over. Feel like life is too short to setup some complicated discipline system to force yourself to chug something down that you hate.

You either enjoy doing it or you don't. Focus on deriving joy out of the process and not the end result.

What's the greatest accomplishment you're aware of that didn't require "chugging down" some hard work that the person hated?

Fair point. All great accomplishments require some grunt work. This leads one to wonder whether or not people who work crazy hours have a high tolerance for bs and pain or enjoy some of the hard work and perseverance anyways. I believe the latter.

Most of the successful people I know tend to enjoy the process and don't seem to be extremely occupied with results.

But based on the post, I felt that if you want to learn a skill you should have some fun or be interested enough in learning. Setting four hours blocks with specific goals don't help. I believe that it's not that people have problems entering deep work that's causing people not to sit down and read through repositories, but they don't care enough, or enjoy the process of learning that's preventing them from making significant progress.

I've found the Clockwise chrome extension to be useful in achieving the bimodal method mentioned here - without something automatically blocking time on my calendar to reserve it for Deep Work, my teammates may book over that time in my calendar.

How do you balance the want/willingness to do deep work with the external pressures of the tech world that result in new fires emerging constantly?

Doing deep work in early mornings should fix your problem. Usually the fires start after the managers/boss/teammates arrive in the office. In the morning you just can ignore everything because no one is expecting you to be available.

I switched roles in my company after being put in a role that was more firefighter than thinker. Some people like that work. I didn’t

I started on Newport's book a few years ago but stopped because I hated his writing style.

Deep work is what people that actually work call regular work. The non-deep work I call meta work.

20+ year old is a wage slave. 30+ year old is an employee. 40+ year old is the partner https://archive.vn/K8DpI

"Compound growth" is one of the main reasons many of us have settled around the "start working full time early in the 2nd quarter of your life" approach.

Your url doesn't work (for me at least)

Sometimes I wish HN would have an almanac of topic themes that keep coming up. Flow/Deep Work seem to be a constantly recurrent theme, as is “imposter syndrome” and other pseudoscientific garbage that people discuss with high authority, quoting this and that author.

For the next poster that wants to toss their hat into the ring, please do a piece on the Quiet Eye. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

I believe the scientific term for this is blogspam

Rightly so, maybe the only 'daily' article we're missing today is one focused on DDG (aka google bashing).

So why do you think these subjects keep popping up on HN? Maybe because there is a unsatisfied need and these articles are addressing the demand. I'm sincerely curious, because I actually like to read these kinds of articles that you are dismissing as pseudo-scientific garbage.

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