On Deep Work, Do Less-Do Better, Planning Your Day, Active Learning, and Overall Well-Being

Past 3-4 days I've been constantly thinking and reading about improving my life - my overall well-being - physical, mental as well as emotional.

I've been reading Cal Newport's blog religiously and scoured over many of his posts and also his book - Deep Work. Also, these days I'm reading many articles on Medium for Self-Improvement.

And Cal has literally hit hard. Whatever he has written in his books and his blog is really impeccable for achieving success on the professional front.

The four things that has caught my attention after reading Cal are:

1. Deep Work: Essentially means to avoid all sorts of distraction - especially mobile phones and social media and work on the task at hand with full intensity. Long hours of deep work is essential in gaining success in today's professional world.

2. Do less, De better: This one is from his book on students - How to be a Straight A Student. He advises students to take moderate courses and excel in them instead of being overwhelmed by many activities and courses. A good read for all students out there. For me, this is important and I need to understand and assign my priorities accordingly. One cannot ride at the same time on all horses.

3. Planning your day: It's really important to schedule the day/week in advance. One benefit I found by practicing this is that my mind knows what needs to be done and what work is coming - thus, I don't end up getting bored or distracted.

Also, since I'm preparing for a few certifications, one more technique that he has suggested for students is:

4. Active Learning: Explaining a concept out loud using complete sentences as if lecturing a class, without looking at your notes (Feynman Technique). This is the only effective way for learning new things. Rest all is passive learning.

For physical well-being, I go for a walk after coming from work. Also did some cycling - thanks to Gandhinagar Urban Development Authority (GUDA) for providing cycles on rent at various locations. Another benefit of such form of exercise is I can sleep peacefully and easily. Previously, I suffered from insomnia on some occasions.

For emotional well-being, I have again started to pray and meditate. Also, need to restart my reading and writing - for me it is also a sort of meditation.


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