Updated: Sep 26
It may seem strange to be writing about self isolation for creative purposes at a time when we are all doing it for survival reasons.
You may have to be more ingenious to get time alone at the moment if you are working with children in the house. But advice I have seen repeatedly after a year of pretty full on business book reading is don't try to multi task. If you want to achieve high quality work such as writing a book, launching a new business, or anything else that requires focus for success, then read on for some resources and suggestions.
A Room of One's Own, with no Wi-Fi
Virginia Woolf wrote a 'A Room of One's Own' as an extended essay. The title relates to both literal and figurative space for women and their writing.
While modern people may not have the challenges she had, we do have more distractions. By cutting down on the number of things that are likely to take away our focus we are creating better conditions to work in.
When I write anything I prefer to do it long hand first, and then jump onto a computer to type it up. I find this has the benefit of not worrying about perfection first time around, and I often write easily for an hour with no interruptions or temptations to jump onto the internet.
What is Monk Mode?
I first came across Monk Mode when reading Cal Newports Deep Work Cal Newport, Ph.D., lives in Washington, DC, where he is a writer and a professor of computer science at Georgetown University. He is also well known for being anti social media, a case he makes in his next book Digital Minimalism
To take one step back the title of Deep Work comes from the concept that we all do many different types of work in a day. Deep Work should come first. This is the important must do tasks that should come first thing in the day when you are at your freshest mentally. It is suggested that to do your deep work, you need to be away from all distractions. Which leads onto Monk Mode.
In 'Deep Work' Newport explains the idea of monk mode as working on important tasks in isolation preferably for a decent chunk of time. Up to four hours is considered optimum for most people.
Many people have followed this practice over the years, from Carl Jung to Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” by which he supposedly meant that planning is more important than leaping in and doing.
So you will be in proven good company if you follow this practise.
So to summarise to do your best work
1) Work somewhere without distractions
2) Don't multi-task, look for ways to do your deep work separately
3) Do your toughest tasks first to get the best from your brain
Thanks for reading!
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Shona Chambers Marketing is a Marketing Agency based in Nunhead near Peckham. Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing. Based at 61 Cheltenham Road, Peckham, SE15 3AF