Every now and then I come across an organization utilizing a time tracking tool(eg. Toggl) for their teams, I feel like asking them if they ever heard of Deep Work. Well give it some time to sink in..
Cal Newport in his latest book “Deep Work” highlighted:
“One of the most valuable skills in our economy is becoming increasingly rare. If one master that skill then he will achieve extra-ordinary results!”
Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitive demanding task. It is a skill that not only makes you better at what you do but also allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.
But how will you do deep work at all? Well your time tracking and productivity tools can be exploited to help you with it, thereby becoming your team’s new focus coach.
“To produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction.” – Cal Newport (from ‘Deep Work’)
Peak Productivity is Possible and Achievable!
Our common habit of working in a state of semi-distraction is potentially devastating to our performance. It is the pernicious effects of something researchers have dubbed “attention residue.”
Attention Residue is caused by frequent tasks switching and it interferes with our ability to perform at our best.
In other words, Quality of work is based mainly on two components: Time and Focus.
Productivity = Time Spent X Intensity of Focus
That is another way of saying that:
Productivity ∝ 1/(Time Wasted with Low Focus)
That is time wasted in:
- Checking Mails repeatedly
- Seeing Facebook Notifications
- And even ordering pizzas
Leaves an unignorable impact on your focus that in the end is reflected in the quality of the work you do.
But, it won’t happen with your team anymore… Or atleast now you know how to tackle it!
Deep Work Algorithm
“The type of work that optimizes your performance is deep work.” – Newport
Your tracking tools can keep a track of your teammate’s system while he works. By this I mean that an OS-based software may have and can have complete log of applications running on that system in a given time frame. We can further exploit this fact to keep a deeper track.
It will thereby calculate a deep work score based on:
- Time spent by the person on non-productive applications(that is the applications marked by the managers)
- Amount of idle time spent on any application(if it exceeds 7 minutes)
Note: A research reveals that 7 minutes is an average time taken by an average person to read out the complete screen in front of him.
- And also the number of desktop notifications that appear on-screen during work, as they are also capable of leaving enough residue.
The Deep Work Score would then be combined with the weekly report and be reviewed by the manager of the team.
It might look something like this:
Individual report can also be made available to respective person for personal improvisations and focus coaching.
In the end of your very first quarter itself, you will notice an increase in productivity of your whole team.
“Unless your talent and skills absolutely dwarf those of your competition, the deep workers among them will outproduce you.” Cal Newport