Maximizing Deep Work Hours - A Personal Experiment

29th February, 2024ยท
ยท3 min read

I used to get very less work done in my day. Always stopping my urges for distraction, finding myself scrolling feeds whenever there is a chance to.

Now, I feel content with what I get done.

I feel getting focused work done is a muscle that you can train. Just like you can train to run longer distances. There is obviously a limit to it. 4 hours of deep work is my sweet spot now. Not to mention a lot of the shallow work that keeps happening.

One side effect of doing good fulfilling work in your day is that you can happily enjoy evenings guilt free.

Starting the day right

Starting my day with work, after spending minimal time needed to freshen up though, is a sure shot way of setting the day in a good motion.

For me, that's starting work by 6am. Is that necessary? I don't think so.

I have always liked the peaceful early mornings as a kid. Now, it feels like the world around me is still asleep and I can work without being bothered.

Our brain tricks us into thinking starting work is easy.

Trick #1โ€”My mind convinces me going back to work is easy.

โ€“ Dopamine Detox book

Let me scroll Twitter for a minute. Let me check Insta quickly. Let me pick a video to watch before I get into the zone.

Getting into the zone only becomes hard later.

Focus is a muscle. Its weak initially and we will only want more distractions throughout the day.

Optimizing the phone

Or I should say making the phone a bit dumber.

The idea is to not let it trigger you into distractions during work.

My home screen is empty. Just the essential apps, like call, are in the dock.

phone homescreen

Blocking social media, any apps that have infinite feeds for that matter, has turned out to be peaceful. Lowering stimulation also helps with building that ability focus.

From 6pm onwards, I unblock everything. Widgets and apps on the home screen are back 1. The phone is then used as its supposed to be, enjoying all its features.

As I am not eliminating/uninstalling apps completely, I feel this is a lot more sustainable. I know I will have time for social media in the evenings so the FOMO is less.

I call this Intermittent feed fasting.

This makes the work look more interesting and fulfilling for me. Urge to check feeds, that constant need of stimulation is reduced.

I've been more than a month into this now and this is whats working for me. Everything I mention here might work for you or you might not need to do all the things I do.

Remember, in this day and age, your ability to focus defines what you can achieve.


  1. Profiles is a feature on iOS that lets you choose a home screen when a profile is active. And you can schedule activation of these profiles based on a time schedule. โ†ฉ

Aravind Balla

By Aravind Balla, a Javascript Developer building things to solve problems faced by him & his friends. You should hit him up on Twitter!

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