Deep Work: What It Is And How It Increases Productivity

If you have trouble concentrating and want to be more productive, deep work may help you. Deep work is based on achieving a state of deep concentration through four fundamental pillars. This way, you can avoid annoying day-to-day distractions, finish your tasks quickly and effectively, and manage your time more precisely.

If you want to know more about deep work and how to put it into practice from your home, office, or workplace, we recommend you continue reading this article. We will show you these four fundamental pillars to achieve this state of concentration and how to exercise them.

Why can’t we concentrate?

Nowadays, many people find it difficult to concentrate on a task. At home or the office, at least one thing will likely interrupt your concentration. At the same time, you work: it could be a WhatsApp notification from your family group or your workgroup, the nearby conversation of your colleagues, your children asking you something, or noises outside the place where you work.

Even your mind can distract you by scrolling through threads of pending tasks or remembering things that worry you constantly. As we have seen, we have external and internal distractions, and it is not easy to get around them all to focus on one thing, especially in a world full of information like the one we live in now.

We have become so accustomed to multitasking and dividing our attention that giving maximum concentration to a single job is complex. It ultimately ends up affecting our personal relationships and also our work performance. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, a person can lose up to 40% of productivity with multitasking.

Also, we can distinguish such types of distractions:

  • Talking to colleagues.
  • Office noises.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by changes at work.
  • Meetings.
  • Social networking.

How many times do you check social media during your workday? The distractions are many, but all is not lost. Under this paradigm is born the concept of deep work, promulgated by the professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, Cal Newport. According to this expert, it is possible to concentrate and avoid distractions to optimize our work performance. Now we will explain how.

What is deep work?

Deep work is the ability to concentrate in a conscious and focused manner on a task that requires constant mental effort, despite distractions. Newport, a creator of the concept, points out that it is a rare skill to find and difficult to exercise, but not impossible. To start working on deep work, it is necessary that we rethink our priorities and that the work in question becomes the main one.

If we concentrate as we should, Newport promises that we will achieve results in the speed and quality of our work. It also allows us to gain a deeper understanding of a situation; if it is a problem, we can think of more efficient and creative ways to solve it.


According to Newport, deep work:

  • Plays with the alternation between superficial work (small tasks) and deep work.
  • It is trained and requires a degree of will and persistence on the part of those who want to discipline themselves.
  • It makes us rethink the habits we consider productive and the very concept of productivity so that we realize that doing several things in a day is not “being productive” but only being busy.
  • It allows you to think about the meaning of your work: why do you do what you do?

Pillars of deep work

To put deep work into practice, Newport has defined four pillars on which you must work:


Deep work is not easy, and even worse, to make it a part of your daily life. It can only be achieved if you practice and have persistence until you can see the results. It is necessary to create a routine: define where to work, when, how long, and mechanisms to sustain this work. We trust that your discipline will guide you and you will master this skill.

Do not give way to boredom

You must understand that deep work does not mean living bored and know how to value leisure time. You should not dedicate all your time to deep work, nor should you neglect your hobbies and activities. Do you like playing video games, painting, or exercising? Alternate your usual distraction habits with deep work, and you will stay energized.

Disconnect from social networks

Nowadays, it is very difficult to be a moment without receiving notifications or wanting to check the networks. However, it is possible. We have already established that social networks are the main distractors. Still, there are mechanisms in cell phones and electronic devices that allow us to concentrate better, such as the “do not disturb” option or disable notifications.

Prioritize your activities

There are times when superficial work becomes our priority. We refer to activities that do not require much cognitive effort, time, or resources. You must organize your priorities and eliminate superficial work as quickly as possible, so you can dedicate adequate time to deep work.

For example, if in addition to work you also study, and you are overwhelmed with a lot of assignments with essays and abstracts, you can always use services such as, thanks to which you can have a lot of free time for more important tasks.

Now that you know what deep work is all about and how it can make us more aware of our productivity, do you want to give it a try? We hope this article has helped you and that you share it with your colleagues or someone who needs it.