We check our cell phones, notifications constantly distract us, and cat videos consume our time. Even though we feel as though we are working on our beloved projects, we typically don’t get much true work done. Time slowly slips away and before we know it, we are throwing away our time on distractions that don’t make us happy anyway.
The reality is, every day we are bombarded with stimulation and distractions that don’t serve us in creating the life of our dreams. Every time a cat video shows up on your Facebook feed, you are going one step away from your successful, passive, small business, and one step towards distraction oblivion.
The cure, according to professor and writer Cal Newport, is called Deep Work. In this article, we are going to first explain the concept of deep work and then offer a few insights into how to achieve this crucial element in your small business.
What is Deep Work and How it Can Help
All of the distractions we mentioned above make it nearly impossible to do your best work. Thousands of high performing individuals want to find an advantage and deep work is the missing piece.
Deep work is the ability to focus on challenging tasks without distraction. It is more of a skill than an innate talent (especially in the modern world) and cultivating this skill is one of the most important opportunities for any small business owner.
Creative Work and the Benefits of Flow
Reason #1: Few people are willing to do whatever it takes
One of the main reasons your small business needs deep work is because few other people are going to be willing to put in the effort. This alone will help you to stand out above the crowd in a world wrought with distractions. A great way to go the extra mile is to wake up early (or work late into the night) and attack your projects head on.
There is a reason many of the most elite performers are either waking up at incredibly early hours of the morning or staying awake into the wee hours at night. Working at 4 AM is advantageous because there are fewer distractions.
Few people are trying to gain your attention at this hour of day, rarely did anything important happen while you were asleep, and with these precious moments you can do your deep work. If you really want to kick your deep work up a notch, Silicon Valley is adding smart drugs called nootropics to the mix. This includes things like the famously popular butter coffee to turbo charge your morning of deep work.
Reason #2: Success is at the margins
At the recent 2016 Brazil Olympic games, swimming and running competitions were often decided by a fraction of a second. Sometimes less than a single second separated the first place gold medalist and fourth place. Success is often at the margins especially at the elite levels.
If you want to compete with the biggest and the best in your industry, your business is going to have to pay close attention to detail and put your best foot forward. This usually happens through daily deep work in those early morning hours.
Reason #3: Creativity is the difference
These days, finding skilled workers cheaply is not difficult. You can easily go on Upwork and find well-trained, well-reviewed experts that can put problems together. Even the highly skilled labor, such as programming and writing can be outsourced for cheap.
So what makes you different? In a world where it’s easier to create a business or start a website the only thing that makes a difference is creativity. One of the only ways to increase your creativity is to have the deep work that allows for it.