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Productivity, Neuroscience, and Deliberate Practice: Deep Work and School (Part 2)

By Dr. Colleen Worrell, Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Productivity, Neuroscience, and Deliberate Practice: Deep Work and School (Part 2)

With the school year off to a frenetic start, I am returning to the topic of deep work, which I wrote about in LEO last September. My article, “Make Deep Work Your Super Power,” was supposed to be the first in a series of posts that would connect Georgetown Professor Cal Newport’s book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World to school and learning. “Deep work” is the ability to focus deeply on a challenging task for a specific period of time, blocking out all distractions in order to get stuff done efficiently and well. The fact that I’m writing part 2 of the “series” one year later proves that I have yet to master this skill. Indeed, my failure to build deep work into my own practice is, in part, what motivates this post. (more…)

Make Deep Work Your Superpower: Deep Work and School (Part 1)

By Dr. Colleen Worrell, Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Make Deep Work Your Superpower: Deep Work and School (Part 1)

Want to learn complicated things quickly, be more productive, and generate higher quality work? Make Deep Work your superpower.

“Deep work” is a term coined by Georgetown University professor Cal Newport to refer to the ability to “focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task” (“Cal Newport on Deep Work”). In his newest book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (NY: Grand Central Publishing, 2016), Professor Newport argues persuasively that the ability to do deep work is the superpower of the 21st century. By training your ability to focus and by actively carving out time “for real intense focused work,” Newport argues that we can train our brains and cultivate habits that build a (more…)