Reflective deep work
You might also call this introspective deep work, or self-reflective deep work.
I just finished reading Deep Work and it has me thinking about applying a few of the concepts well beyond my career. “Deep work” is all about making space for the hard intellectual work at the core of most knowledge workers' jobs. But, the concept of making space in your day or week or month for deep thought seems like it should apply well beyond my career. Reflective deep work could even be a unifying theme for a lot of self-help or productivity advice. In some parts of life, I operate on auto-pilot almost all the time. If I’m brushing my teeth, that’s perfect. But, in other situations, it would be better to occasionally stop and think.
- Sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and thinking for an hour about how to improve your relationship with your significant other. Even if the relationship is already great!
- Intentional thought and planning about how to enhance my running training and how to solve my running injuries.
- Puzzling out better dog training techniques when the current approach isn’t working. Or even, the mere realization that the current training approach isn’t working.
You might be thinking this all sounds too much like a weekly review. I don’t disagree! A weekly review is a form of reflective deep work normally focused on meta-level career topics or organization. But, I think it’s useful to occasionally go beyond the core goals and topics you might consider in a weekly review. I’m going to reserve an hour every couple weeks to think hard about something that I wouldn’t normally think about. To avoid missing important subjects, I’ll spend the first few minutes listing some options for what to think about that session: random thoughts, activities, people, but probably not work.