A few years ago I used to think that productivity was totally bounded to hard skills and how you deal with problems from a technical point of view. Recently I'm discovering that this is half true. As Cal Newport described in the very well written "Deep Work" focus is the main key to get your work done, and mostly it's rare to find out and by consequence it has to be valued. The reason for that is that no matter how good are the courses and books that you are giving to someone. If that person can't focus on it's work then is a useless investment.
To achieving what is called the mentioned "deep focus", Newport describe a set of disciplines called The Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX):
I always had a problem with focusing on my current task. The reason for that is that I rarely summarized what my priorities were and what I was trying to accomplish. Focus the important and throw away the garbage is not just important to complete your goal, but to keep your sanity and not become overwhelmed.
Always follow the plan no matter what and more important than this, be ready to act in what you have in hands at that exact moment. Identify where you are NOW is so important as realize where you will going to be AFTER.
Is important to have some measure tool to your task for the two main reasons:
- We are more motivated to do some work by simply having a absolute number of our "impact" in that current task
- This way we can easily visualize our current lead and as said in rule number 2, act on it.
Last but definitely not least create a rhythm. It's impossible to some system work out of sync with different parts working on different instructions and flows. Just think about the human body and how all workflow is centralized in the brain.
This step talk about how important is to check out your calender and report problems to keep sure you are STILL in the plan.
Deep work is a superpower, but one that can be taught and with the right discipline, achieved by any person at any field of knowledge. Know where you want to go is important because you can always be one step ahead and consequently never be taken down.