• Lluís M. Ventura

What async communication can do for your deep work

Deep work

It was Cal Newport, a renowned author and computer science professor at Georgetown University, who first patented this term in his 2016 bestselling book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. He describes it as:

“Professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skills, and are hard to replicate.”

According to Newport, these hard-to-replicate efforts, (results, values, and activities) are the ones that will lead you to excellence and to achieving your goal, whether it is writing a book, growing a 1,000-employee business or programming a social network yet to be made up. As he says, “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.”

So, what keeps us from deep work?

In a technological world - as this where we are now living - it is so easy to lose focus on what we are working on to pay attention to: a Whatsapp sound, an email that is not urgent but has just arrived, a notification you’ve just heard about a mention on Twitter, remembering today’s the anniversary of whoever and going to check their Facebook page, and, since now you have your phone in your hand, you go check Instagram notifications, start watching stories, come back to that non-urgent mail, etc. Oops, an hour has flown by and you have got a Zoom in twenty minutes, so you decide you can just keep watching stories since you will not be able to focus on what you were doing before that remote meeting.

How to achieve deep work?

First of all, schedule what hours a day you will be practicing deep work. Set time objectives such as “at X o-clock the first part of this project has to be finished”. Of course, you will have to put your mobile phone away for the time you’ve planned to be deep working. Mute mail notifications, close all social media tabs and apps and, as obvious as it may seem, you will have to adopt async communication with your colleagues. This means: don’t respond to mails, calls, whatsapps, etc.

There is nothing more important at this moment than what you are deep working on.

Async communication is the answer

Letting people organize, distribute and divide one own’s time so that they can achieve their goals in the way that best works for them is the new trend imposing on the greater and most successful companies to optimize efforts and be more efficient. Comeet can help you do that by adding video-first async meetings to your calendar. Respect everyone's time and have thoughtful conversations with a human touch.