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The Quadrants in the Day of a Deep Worker

What does a the optimal day look someone focused on deep work and sharing remarkable results?

This post argues that a day can be split into four categories for optimal impact of deep work and minimal risk of burnout: preparation, deep work, sharing, and input.

preparation - prioritize tasks for the day to accomplish, prepare internal and external environment for best work

deep work - important tasks to be fulfilled requiring flow/100% focus

sharing - sharing atomic, distilled elements from work. These are the scraps from the cutting-room floor (202212181947), leveraging the Feynman Technique to solidify the results of the deep work process

input - consuming high quality curated content to input for future deep work inspiration

The idea is that the preparation phase leads into the deep work phase leads into the sharing phase leads into the input phase.

Rigid, Yet Flexible Schedule

  • Up to 4 hours of deep work a day (cornerstone)
  • Up to 3 hours of sharing (livestream/office hours/performance/etc)
  • Finish the day with high quality input instead of low quality interspersed throughout the day
  • Maintain critical health hygiene habits (sleep, exercise, diet)

Here's a tentative schedule with clear boundaries (+/- in hours):

  • wake up - +3(hours) = preparation
  • +3 - +7 = deep work
  • +7 - +10 = sharing
  • -3 - sleep = high quality input

Preparation Template

This template is filled out in the morning to align on the priority tasks so the deep work phase can be 100% focused. In addition, this template seeks to excite about interesting content to be looked forward to at the end of the day.

### What Project(s) Do You Plan On Working On Today?

#### What Three Most Important Tasks Need Priority?

### What Are You Consuming To Help With This?

#### What Are You Looking Forward to Consuming?

### How Will You Move Your Body Today?

### What Are You Hoping To Be Able To Share From Your Deep Work Session?

Deep Work -> Content Template

This template concludes the deep work phase of the day and extracts high quality content to share.

### What Project(s) Did You Work On Today?

### Is Any Of Your Deep Work in a Directly Shareable State?

### What Interesting Thing(s) Did You Learn?

### How Would You Convey What You Learned As A Short Summary?

Input Alignment Template

### What Are You Consuming?

### What Project(s) Are You Working On Tomorrow?

### How Does Your Consumption Help Progress Your Projects?

Personal Example

Here are my daily priorities and deep work activities (marked):

  • exercise (preparation)
  • zettelkasten processing (reading -> to-process inbox -> zettel -> publish) (deep work)
  • content creation (sharing)
  • livestream (sharing)
  • coding (deep work)
  • writing (deep work)
  • improving my website (sharing/deep work)
  • client work (deep work)

Here's how a day might look using this structure:

  1. 1st block is prep
  2. filling out the Input Template and the Preparation Template
  3. light exercise
  4. cleaning the work space
  5. 2nd block is deep work
  6. open external tasks owed to clients (priority 1)
  7. going through #to-process and converting notes to distilled items (priority 2)
  8. (or) creating bespoke content like videos or essays (priority 2)
  9. (or) coding open projects (priority 2) (why priority 2? to not waste time on coding for coding's sake 202212251454)
  10. at the end of the deep work session, filling out the Content Template
  11. 3rd block is sharing
  12. going on livestream and reviewing what was made and why
  13. using the Content Template as a guide, share what was done and what was learned
  14. 4th block is input
  15. catching up on books and reading/watching/listening to content that will become raw material for future deep work