Five Ways Entrepreneurs Can Enhance Their Productivity With Essentialism And Deep Work

Essentialism and deep work are powerful habits that can help you reflect on how to manage your time and energy in life. Merging these two ideas can transform your experience at work and in life. 

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Distractions are as common as dirt. Have you found yourself in a situation wherein you start working on a project or idea, and out of nowhere, you’re pulled in a different direction? It may be a phone call, a message, a pop-up notification, an email. Within a few seconds, your mind is all over the place, severely impacting your ability to be productive and to focus. 

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The reality is that everything in life is designed for it to make it very difficult for us to say “no” to. 

Moreover, bouncing between notifications and meetings are the kryptonite to our focus, productivity, and confidence. Although they are markers of “busyness,” they spell doom to productivity, and your ability to be productive is the business behind your business. All forms of distraction prevent us from doing deep work, and they block us from tapping the wealth of great ideas in your subconscious. 

And that’s where essentialism and deep work come in: a powerful one-two punch! 

Essentialism and deep work are powerful habits that can help you reflect on how to manage your time and energy in life. Merging these two ideas can transform your experience at work and in life. These habits demonstrate that you don’t have to experience burnout, or sacrifice your family life for success and fulfillment.  

To succeed in life and business, you simply need a different way of doing everything.  

And that’s where essentialism and deep work come in. If your life is like an overflowing wardrobe, it will be impossible to deepen your focus. And while you may get by, it will be very difficult for you to come up with ideas that can unleash your latent potential to change the world.  

Here are some ways entrepreneurs enhance their productivity by practicing essentialism and deep work: 

1. Create boundaries in your schedule It’s easy to succumb to attention traps and veer off the path of focus. One of the most powerful habits that I have adopted is dividing my time between online and offline. Having clear boundaries has allowed me to eliminate the micro distractions that may seem harmless in the short term, but over time, they rob us of energy and erode our willpower. Having clear lines between work that requires me to be online and what doesn’t, can unlock a new level of productivity and deep focus. This approach is the single most important thing you can do to access deep levels of focus and productivity. If your work doesn’t allow you to dedicate your time between online/offline, turning off your notifications will significantly help prevent distraction from apps that are designed to grab your attention by seducing you. Once you make it impossible to get distracted, you’ve won the first battle and are on your way to accessing your next level of entrepreneur. 

Related: How To Empower Ourselves (And Those Around Us)

2. Tie up your loose ends I learned this from all the masters of productivity and efficiency, that whatever is unfinished or incomplete, costs us emotionally. Unconsciously, they’re burdens that we carry with us. Maybe you had a fight with someone, maybe you have a conflict in your life. Maybe it happened three years ago, but you never went back to resolve it to have the closure. Maybe you’re having some conflict with someone because of a deal that went south, so you’re mad at them, and as a result, you have this open loop. Maybe you built a model and you never completed it, and it’s around, and the stuff is around, and so we need to get some closure and some completion on these in your life. Things that are incomplete in your life –“loose ends”– rob you of the energy you need to be really productive. Identify each one of your loose ends and address them.  This will unlock your ability to focus, confidence, and productivity. 

3. Collaborate with others Although it’s easy to conclude that deep work is designed to take you away from all distractions (including people), it is not necessarily always so. Deep work often means working alone. But sometimes, you can schedule effective collaboration (deep collaborative work) sessions with others while working towards a common goal. Collaborative deep work can help you push a team towards the greater output. As long as the target remains clear, practicing deep work with others on a project is highly beneficial. However, this does not substitute for personal deep work time. 

4. Learn to relax “intelligently” To increase deep focus, we need our mind and body to rejuvenate to regenerate. Just like it’s counterintuitive to use your willpower to do tasks, it’s super counterintuitive to think that rejuvenation is essential to productivity, but there’s a direct relationship. The brilliant geniuses I’ve studied, ranging from Dan Sullivan to Leonardo DaVinci, they all agree that if you want to get really productive, you need to disconnect and do things that have nothing to do with your work. The prize of doing the deepest rejuvenation and relaxation is productive and deep work. We need to channel our willpower to program ourselves, carve, and groove it into our neurology, into our feelings, our behavior. What creates the habits is willpower, and what builds willpower is rejuvenation. If you’re serious about high quality productivity, unplugging, disconnecting, relaxing, energizing, rejuvenation, and renewal are essential. 

5. Keep a compelling scoreboard When you keep a compelling scoreboard, you’re able to see how far you’ve gone in practicing your deep work strategy. Keep count of the number of hours you spend practicing deep work per day. If you display this somewhere visible, it will motivate you to keep the momentum! 

In conclusion, if you want to do deep work and deep focus, you have to take your thinking, your self-image, your esteem to the next level. You must become the next version of you. A great quote attributed to Einstein says that we can’t solve the significant problems we face, at the same level of thinking when we created them. Whatever level of thinking you’re at, you can’t think your significant problems at that level. You have to go to the next level. You can completely transform your life by you practicing both deep work and essentialism- marry these concepts and you can go on to enjoy the most productive times ever.   

Related: Five Lessons From Running A Startup Business Through A Global Pandemic