Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Coach On Why We Need Deep Work

Kyle Smith

workingPhoto by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Do you struggle with how you spend your time or finishing the right things during the course of the day? If so, you're not alone. I recently spoke with Los Angeles resident Lee Chambers about these specific topics. Lee Chambers is a life coach, environmental psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant at Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing. Lee looks at how we attach to tasks and how we then carry them out. These two areas intersect with employee productivity and performance in today’s society. Here are some highlights of our conversation about priorities, attention, and getting the right things done.

What do you see as some of the common struggles most of us face?

We have so many different things vying for our attention. It’s becoming more and more difficult to follow our biological rhythms and work deeply for periods of time.We face many businesses that get paid to remove our boredom. At the same time, these businesses are also removing our ability to focus on one specific task and carry that out to a really high peak performance level for a long period. The average worker does so many different things today, he or she can’t possibly just work really deeply on one task. There are emails pinging here and notifications over there.

So how do you start doing the deep work despite distractions?

It's a lot like riding a bike. First you get on and you balance the bike. You visualize the path ahead. You start pedaling. But do you remember what it was like when you first started learning how to ride a bike? The same applies to deep work. A lot of practice is required. You’re not going to get it right when you do it the first time.

Tying intentions to your priorities and then getting them out of your head so you can give them focused intention isn’t an easy at first. You’ll need to practice. And although practice may not make perfect in this case (you are human, after all), practice will make you better at doing the right things at the right time.

That's great! Any other tips or advice to get traction?

Get clear about your intentions first. This is the key to unlocking focused attention. Intention is defined as “the thing that you plan to do or achieve: an aim or purpose.” The key aspect of that definition is the second component: the aim or purpose. Doing things for the sake of doing things won’t create progress in and of itself.

You have to set boundaries. No notifications. Your email is closed. Anything that’s gonna distract you from the work is not there, and naturally takes a big step to make those intentional decisions. Deep work really starts to become a process of you becoming aware, and then implementing these things into your life.

So what do you do when challenges come your way?

Great question. You will defferent challenges in your life. They might be health related or financial problems. Whatever the problem, you can turn a threat or challenge into an opportunity to learn. Lee became seriously ill, spending three weeks in hospital and spending six months learning to walk again. His illness was a turning point for him. Lee spent the last five years studying and practising everything he could learn to optimise my mind, body and soul. There will be times when your back is up against the wall. You must decide to take responsibility for your own situation and do what you can do. That’s how you’ll keep growing and learning.

Thanks so much to Lee for taking the time to chat with me. I really enjoyed our conversation. Did you learn anything from this chat that you can put into action ?

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I write about writing, productivity, creativity, and much more.

St. Louis, MO

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