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When do you do deep work? - Ink Drops Stationery by Subscription

So one of the reasons (or excuses) for all the stationery is to be organised. And being organised has job lists at its heart. We like to feel purposeful. So you make notes of things to do and follow up in notebooks and notepads and on sticky notes. You use pens in a variety of colours to write out what you need to do. And you try and distract yourself from the more boring bits by adding stickers and tape.

I’m a complete enthusiast for a new way to organise my work. Partly in the hopes that it will cure procrastination. Partly because I believe that our lives are always changing and so we need new systems to organise them.

So stumbling across some free-to-download and new-to-me planners sheets was delightful. But these made me think about how I organise my work and what my priorities actually are.

List of tasks

I have daily tasks. In fact, I have quite a list of daily tasks. I have weekly tasks that I do on a particular day. Then I’ve been working on developing longer-term goals and breaking these down. This is the bit I’m finding most challenging. I’m either not very good at breaking down big tasks (maybe I  just don’t want to do them…) or I’m so good at breaking them down I just don’t know which task to do first.

Which has bought me to thinking about the best time for deep and development work. I keep reading things that tell me to do deep work first thing in the morning. To get up go for my walk, do a few other bits of my morning routine and then devote time to doing my most meaningful work while I’m fresh.

Inevitably what happens is that I feel distracted by my daily tasks. I feel that if I could just knock off a few off then I could get on with the ‘meaningful’ stuff. Otherwise, I feel distracted by my job list. Why can’t I focus?

Find a routine

I think the clue lies in what my morning routine actually is. The morning routine has a certain glamour. Various websites suggest that it’s all about spending time meditating, exercising and learning.

In reality, my routine is there so that I don’t have to think. I can stumble out of bed and pull on my exercise clothes. By the time I’m back from my walk I can function enough to brush my teeth, shower and do food prep. But I’m probably not feeling super inspired for a few hours. I just want to do things where I don’t have to think and can slowly ease my brain into thinking. I think of it as a bit like an extended warm-up. When I was a keen swimmer I preferred distance events. For mental exertions that might also be true.

So it seems that mornings are not my time for deep work. Instead, I’m focusing on knocking off regular tasks for a few hours. Then with my brain all warmed up I can really get to work on those deep work development and learning tasks.

When do you do deep work?

P.S. Check out our bujo selections for getting organised