How To Do Deep Work With beams

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Learn how to harness the power of deep work using beams. Choose a suitable deep work philosophy, use focus mode, and regularly review your progress on the beams dashboard. This guide will show you how to integrate deep work into your daily workflow and boost your productivity.

What is deep work?

Georgetown University computer scientist Cal Newport coined the term “deep work” to describe a state of peak concentration that allows you to master difficult concepts and quickly produce high quality work. In the knowledge economy, deep work has never been in greater demand. The highest value-add tasks, such as coding, designing, and writing, all require undivided attention.
But something strange has happened: as the demand for deep work has risen, it has become harder to do. Our workdays are booby-trapped with distractions, from buzzing notifications to back-to-back meetings, all of which interrupt and fragment our attention. When you switch between tasks, a part of your brain remains stuck on the prior task, a phenomenon called attention residue. Research shows it can take upwards of 20 minutes to regain your full attention and focus on the current task. When this kind of context switching happens constantly throughout your day, you are losing hours of focused work time.
Fortunately, we developed beams with this problem in mind. In this guide, we’ll show you how to use beams to unlock the power of deep work.

Building deep work into your beams workflow

Step 1: Choose your deep work philosophy

In his book, Newport outlines four different approaches, or philosophies, to doing deep work.
  • The rhythmic philosophy involves scheduling 1-4 hours of deep work at the same time every day. For example, you could block out the two hours before lunch for deep work every weekday. This strategy works best if you have a predictable work schedule. People who use timeboxing will find the rhythmic approach particularly easy to implement.
  • The journalistic philosophy is great for those seeking more flexibility. It involves fitting deep work into your schedule wherever you can. Keep in mind that this approach only works if you can switch into focus mode quickly.
  • Easily distracted? Try the monastic approach, which entails drastically reducing distractions across all aspects of your working life. No email notifications, Slack surfing, or ad-hoc meetings. For inspiration, look to director Christopher Nolan, who doesn’t allow phones or unscheduled bathroom breaks on set. While this approach has romantic appeal, be realistic with yourself about whether you can maintain it over the long-term.
  • Finally, there’s the bimodal philosophy, a more flexible version of the monastic approach. Rather than completely eliminating distractions, set aside a few days a week or month for deep work.
Use your calendar health score to help you choose a deep work philosophy. If you’re spending a lot of time in meetings, a less interruptive approach like the rhythmic or bimodal philosophy might be a good fit. If your calendar is relatively clear, you might be able to sustain a more intensive monastic approach. Assess your current schedule and habits to determine which philosophy aligns best with your workflow and personal preferences.

Step 2: Block out deep work sessions

Once you've chosen your deep work philosophy, it's time to implement it into your schedule.
  • Identify Your Peak Productivity Hours: Determine when you're most alert and focused. Schedule your deep work sessions during these hours for maximum effectiveness.
  • Create Recurring Events: Set up recurring time blocks for deep work. For example, if you're following the rhythmic approach, schedule deep work sessions every weekday from 9 to 11 AM.
  • Protect Your Time: Treat these time blocks as non-negotiable appointments. Avoid scheduling meetings or other activities during these periods.

Step 3: Minimize distractions with focus mode

During your deep work sessions, it's crucial to minimize distractions to maintain focus. Using focus mode can help you create an optimal environment for deep work:
  • Turn On Focus Mode: Use beams to automatically silence notifications from email, messaging apps, and social media during your deep work sessions.
  • Set Boundaries: Inform colleagues and family members about your deep work schedule and ask them not to interrupt you unless it's urgent.

Step 4: Review your dashboard and adjust

Monitoring your progress is essential for maintaining and improving your deep work practice. Beams can help you track and analyze your deep work sessions:
  • Reflect on Your Performance: At the end of each day, review your dashboard to evaluate your performance. Did your deep work time help you achieve your daily goals? If not, consider making adjustments to the timing or length of your deep work sessions.
  • Adjust Your Schedule: Based on your reflections, make necessary adjustments to your deep work schedule. For example, if you find that certain times of the day are more prone to interruptions, consider shifting your deep work sessions to a quieter period.
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Start using beams today to eliminate distractions and work deeper.