How Deep Work Can Help Your Creativity

by Richard P John

If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive — no matter how skilled or talented you are.”
- Cal Newport

Deep work is a technique and method developed by Cal Newport, a computer scientist professor at Georgetown University.
Unusually for a computer scientist, Newport isn’t on social media although he blogs regularly at

Cal Newport is the author of ‘Deep Work; Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World’ and ‘So Good They Can’t Ignore You.’ 

​What is Deep Work?

Deep Work refers to the ability to work consistently at a demanding task using complete focus and without any distraction.

Basically, you have to ‘go deep’.

Newport states about creative tasks that you should “…work on it as hard as your brain is capable for an extended amount of time without any distractions.”

It requires not just a block of time in which to work but focused discipline and concentration within that time. The time you set aside should be just for working and nothing else.

It might seem obvious that focused work is essential to fulfilling your creative and productive needs, but DOING deep work is not necessarily as easy as it sounds.
Learning Deep Work allows you to master complex tasks in less time than it would usually take.

When Are We Not Doing Deep Work?

Although many of us dedicate time to work and tasks, how much of that time is actually alloted to the tasks?

How often have you invited things into that time (e.g. social media, procrastination) that have runied your focus and concentration?
You then wonder why you feel so much has been left undone, wondering why it doesn’t seem like there enough hours in the day.

“It’s very easy to confuse activity with productivity” — Tim Ferris

Newport points out the difference between Deep Work and Shallow Work:

Deep Work: Demanding tasks that require you to focus without no distractions and which require skills that are hard to replicate or master.
Shallow Work: Tasks that do not require intense focus, don’t require skills and which are difficult to replicate or master

How To Do Deep Work

1) Batch challenging tasks

2) Eliminate Distractions

Asses all the distractions in your life that you can safely eliminate.Ask yourself what you need to do and what you don’t need to do.

3) Schedule your Deep Work time.

Remember also to treat it with the respect it deserves.

4) Track how much time you spend doing Deep Work

Deep Work is also being mindful about the way you work. Recognise when you’re doing deep work and resit the urge to distract yourself.

Originally published at