Dividing the work day

I am a big fan of deep work and deep rest, and have been pondering about these two concepts a lot. I feel that both are the foundation of my current work style, and they allow me to find joy on a daily basis. At this moment of my life I feel aversion to a culture of exhaustion, and I am looking forward to learn to sustain good work for the rest of my life. The idea that I need to work super hard until burn-out just for a period of my life, does not suit me. The outline of the work-day below is to help me realize that to pull-out 10 hours of deep work is not an easy task – maybe not even reasonable – and it eats up all the wake hours.

Unit of work: 1 hour of deep work + 10 minutes break.

My interpretation of deep work: time dedicated to the task at hand without interruption or distractions that are not related to task at hand.

How do 8 hours of deep work look like? It looks like 8 hours of deep work + 80 minutes of breaks. In total: 9 hours and 20 minutes of the day.

If I want to finish by 6 pm and do 8 hours of deep work I would need to start at 7:40 am in the morning. It would include 1 hour for lunch. Going to the restroom is permitted during deep work. Making a hot drink and snacks are allocated during the 10 minutes breaks.

The rule is that the regular working day would finish at 6 pm. The planning for the next day is done during the last hour of deep work. This is so nothing work related spills out of the 9 hours and 20 minutes ‘the workday’. After 6 pm go for complete detachment from work.

From 6 pm to 7 pm I could have dinner and then start another 2 hours of deep work, which will end at 9:20 pm. These two hours of deep work during the nights could be dedicated to learning something ‘non-work’ related.

The weekends are unstructured. The weekdays work stuff and nights non-work activities are not allowed during the weekend.

Then I would sleep from 10 pm until 6 am in the morning. Doing personal stuff usually takes until 7:20 am and that leaves enough buffer time to start at 7:40 am.

After reflecting on this schedule I see that deep rest is not integrated in each day. Unless the 2 last deep hours of the day would be considered rest. That is indeed very task specific, and some activities could be draining or restorative.

I really wonder how I would tackle work if I were not living on my own. There are added variables: partners, relatives, kids, pets, etc. At which times Am I allowed to be a human? When would I see my friends? There is not a lot of uninterrupted time during the day, and to pull off 10 hours of deep work still demands the majority of the day.

I have not even considered the fact my energy will fluctuate during the day and that not all the hours will be equally efficient. I wrote this piece mainly to make me realize that there are not a lot deep work hours during the day. And, that if you allocate deep work all over the day, there is no time left for deep rest.

(photo by monicachatterton)

 109 total views,  1 views today