Deep Work and Your Relationships

I don’t read many books twice, but Deep Work is an exception. The applications of this book are still resonating with me 2 years since first reading it.

The initial impression some people have of a deep worker is that of a studious hermit. Someone who cares about their work more than their relationships. Contrary to initial impressions, I’ve found that working deeply has made a positive difference in my relationships. Here are four ways it has helped me.

Looming cutoffs make room for important relationships.

When your work doesn’t bleed into your evenings, you are free to pour that time into your important relationships. I try to accomplish focused work in the early morning so that my evenings are for people.

Embracing boredom helps ground you in the present

The problem with multitasking is that you can’t filter out irrelevance.

When listening, there’s a pull to start thinking about other “more important” tasks. This happens in part because we’re addicted to stimulation. Most of that stuff we turn to is irrelevant, but it can erode the things that are foundational to your relationships. Embracing boredom strengthens your mind against a tiny attention span, which leads to better engagement with the people around you.

Deep understanding makes for better discussions

The better your inputs, the better your outputs. When you are engaged in deep thought, it’s usually because you are interested in a topic or goal. Not everyone likes talking about these things, but when you find people who do, you have lots to talk about. You can teach and be taught by others. All in all, your discussions and relationships will be infused with new life.

Good work serves others

When I work with focus I am able to deliver work of quality, much faster than if I’m distracted. This is the work that I’m proud to put your signature on. It’s work that serves others in a meaningful way, and serving others is foundational to healthy relationships.