The Falafel Method for deep work
A quick mindfulness trick to boost your productivity at work
If you’re a designer, developer, marketer, entrepreneur or any kind of professional with complicated tech work that needs your full brain capacity, you’re probably struggling to find that deep work time.
You’re constantly trying to get into a state of ‘flow’, where your brain can perform at it’s best, and make the proper neural connections that are needed for complicated tasks.
But, what if I told you that your actual deep work is mixed with (sometimes hours worth of) work that is far from ‘deep’?
So I just want to share this quick tip with you, and maybe it will help boost your productivity when these non-deep tasks need to be taken care of.
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The connection between Middle Eastern dishes & productivity
If you’ve ordered falafel at a proper Israeli falafel shop, you’ve seen ultimate productivity at play.
It’s not an art, or a learned skill: it’s just getting the thing done.
Stand in line, wait very briefly,
have someone cut a pita bread open then scream “hummus fries salad!” at you,
take your pita (filled with the above, it’s usually not a question so much as a statement) and hurry up so the next person will get served.
Time wasting is not acceptable. If you wander off into the pre-lunch daydream, you’ll find an angry falafel maker yelling “Hey! You! Come on! What do you want in the pita?”
The pitas get spread with hummus, the vegetables and falafel balls get literally thrown into the pita, customers are served quickly, the day goes on and eventually ends, so they can go home and do whatever they like to do aside for providing delicious sustenance.
There’s no thinking involved, just fast hands that are the mean to serve as many people as they can.
Now let’s compare that to our own work
Tech work usually involves a ton of thinking, strategizing, researching, and then actually carrying out. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of brainless work that has to get done as well along the way.
You can probably think of countless scenerios like that in your own work routine.
I can share an example as as a designer:
Sometimes I have to make micro-copy edits to my designs based off client feedback. Then, I have to re-sync those designs to Invision (the tool in which I can share my designs with the client).
This sort of task takes time. Even worse, it’s usually mixed inside a regular day full of hard, brain-consuming tasks.
But, this specific task itself does not require me to think too much.
We all have those kind of tasks. You do to. Can you think what kind of tasks those are?
Think of the tasks that you encounter every once in a while, that don’t demand your full brain capacity, but that usually come in the middle of other tasks that do.
The repeating scenario
We are in the middle of the work day,
our brain is working hard,
we’re thinking about everything twice before we do it,
playing out scenarios in our heads like a game of chess.
We contemplate every line of code, every new shape location in our designs, every word in important emails.
Then, an important task comes in that we don’t really need to think about, but our brains are so used to thinking hard that they stay on that ‘think hard’ mode.
A cognitive dissonance which ends up in one or two ways:
- We slow down even more, and do mindless tasks even slower than tasks we really need to think hard while doing.
- Even worse, we end up procrastinating, pushing off that ‘boring’ work. Getting up from a deep work session thinking it’s a ‘good time to get coffee’.
Thing is, there’s no reason to cut off that deep work session! No reason to get out of ‘flow’. This is where The Falafel Method comes into play.
Introducing: The falafel method for deep work
If there’s anything I’ve learned from the falafel shop, it’s this: the best way to get straightforward things done is just to turn your brain off and fucking do them.
Whenever I’m deep in design work, I try to stay mindful of what tasks require my full brain capacity and which don’t.
Whenever I get to a list of tasks that are ‘simple and just need to get done,’ I go into FM (Falafel Maker) mode and do them.
No brain power, just speed.
Good work served fast.
Mindless tasks are uncomplicated by nature; they’re not glamorous, but they need to get done.
They’re part of our work.
So, main takeaway is…
Be mindful of your tasks while working.
When you spot it’s time to do mindless tasks of some sort, turn off your brain and throw yourself into it.
You’ll see that some tasks that used to take hours don’t have to take more than a few minutes if you focus singularly on getting them done.
Use this method, and I guarantee you’ll claim to be more productive and happy at your work.
Did you enjoy this article?
Do you have your own ways of staying productive in those kind of mindless tasks while in the ‘flow’?
Write me here in the comments!