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⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️
Deep work, not busyness, is essential for effectively moving the needle forward on anything hard in your life – winning a transformation deal, writing a book, scaling your side business. Today’s edition unpacks exactly what deep work is, why it’s so valuable, and four specific ways you can incorporate deep work into your days.
Read time: <5 minutes
What exactly is deep work?
Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work, describes deep work and shallow work like this:
Deep work: Performing complex tasks in a state of distraction-free concentration.
Shallow work: Work done in small pieces and doesn’t require your full attention (stuff you could do hungover).
Today, deep work is harder to do than ever because of the constant bombardment of notifications, our addictive devices, the incessant need for a dopamine fix from our social media feeds, games, shopping, and the news about anything all at out fingertips.
Research from Newport showed that the average knowledge worker (like those in tech sales), spends 30% of their time on email and another 30% on team communication and internet activities.
That leaves just 40% of work time to get real work done. That’s simply not enough time for the standards necessary for closing transformation deals with large organizations.
This is not a new problem, but sadly, I see sellers moving in the wrong direction – more time is going to shallow work and not towards the meaningful deep work that is both highly valuable and extremely fulfilling (hello flow state!).
Why is deep work so important?
Our economy is more demanding and competitive than ever.
So far this year, 158,535 tech workers have been laid off according to Crunchbase.
But for the select few with exceptional ability or in-demand skills, there’s increasing opportunity. Especially now that companies can hire anyone, anywhere in the world, the best in every field are in increasing demand, and can capture exponentially more of the reward.
This is especially true for sales (where I worked 100% remotely for over 7 years – one based in San Francisco, and another based in New York).
So how can you, as a revenue generator, climb to the top of your field?
Newport says this requires 2 key skills:
1. The ability to quickly master hard things
2. The ability to produce at an elite level
Both of these skills are difficult to cultivate. They require you to practice deep work. But the payoff is immense.
I’ve shared this calculation in previous editions, but it’s worth repeating. Imagine if you are a seller who earned $250K last year. The ability to claw back distractions alone could add an additional $113,636 in commissions with just 2.5 hours shifted from shallow work to deep work.
Then, you combine that with acquiring quality strategic selling skills and it’s not hard to imagine 7.5xing your income in a single year, like I was able to do after I put in the work to build my reputation and skill stack.
Four ways to practice deep work
To integrate deep work into your own life, you first need to find the style of deep work that’s best for you. According to Newport, there are four effective approaches for integrating deep work into your life and routine.
1. The Bimodal Approach
Bimodal deep workers learn to compartmentalize shallow and deep ways of working. They set aside large chunks of time for total focus. During shallow work periods, they do as much as possible without cutting into their deep work time.
2. The Rhythmic Approach
Rhythmic deep workers schedule small blocks for deep work in their daily schedule. Their goal is to cultivate a habit of deep work, even if they can focus only for a couple hours at a time. For those who can’t devote many uninterrupted hours in a row to deep work, the rhythmic approach can help.
3. The Monastic Approach
Monastic deep workers go to great lengths to minimize distractions. For example, they eliminate social media accounts entirely, and use email sparingly. If extreme lifestyle changes will help them achieve professional goals, they’ll make them.
4. The Journalistic Approach
Journalistic deep workers use spare moments that come up throughout the day. Even if they only have 30 minutes free, they’ll quickly retreat from distractions and focus on their work. This approach is best for those with unpredictable schedules, or who need to act quickly when inspiration strikes.
I personally float between Bimodal and Rhythmic. Which deep work approach makes the most sense for you? Hit reply and let me know.
See you next week!
How I can help you right now
Unlock the 7 Figure Seller OS and put it into practice in the next 21 days
The best performing “product” over the past 60 days has been Option 3, which combines 7 Steps to 7 Figures + Make More Hustle Less Club + 60 Mins 1:1 Coaching. What I’ve observed with the coaching sessions is that there are a wide variety of topics on the top of sellers’ minds.
Dan and I have been working on a strategic sales strategy to position his unknown, India-based AI to American Fortune 1,000 CMOs. Ryan is looking to transition from a small company where he’s been several years to a “right-fit” company in early 2024. Brad is a 2nd sales hire at a really capable startup, and he’s looking to repeat multiple transformation deals.
I’ve had to raise my rates because of the demand – even though I’m still under-charging for my knowledge (I have my reasons – which are focused on long-term projects). I’ve also unlocked a few more sessions in September and November to make room for others.
I thoroughly enjoy coaching but only have so much time in the day. That’s why I have partnered with a trusted ecosystem of coaches – ranging from mindset performance to closing the largest deal of your career. And that’s been valuable coaching as well…some have used the 60-minute session with me to understand where and how they should invest in their coach, whether it’s with me or someone I know who’s been there and done it.
Before you invest $5,000, $12,000, or $30,000 for the year, set up a time to talk to me first and use the email template at the bottom of the page to get it expensed by your company. Finding the right coach to level up your skill stack is one of the most important accelerators for your career and life. Go here, click “Unlock Access Now,” and select Option 3, and email the template with a receipt to your manager. See you inside!