The case for tracking time spent doing "Deep Work"

I believe DEEP WORK is any time spent doing something that creates leverage for future endeavours.

The case for tracking time spent doing "Deep Work"

We have all been there. We are working and lose track of time, lose ourselves in what we are doing and once we come out of this whirlpool of inspiration we know - I've made progress.

We call it many things:

  • Deep work
  • Flow state
  • Being creative
  • Getting things done
  • Being productive

For the purpose of this post, I am going to call it DEEP WORK.

What is DEEP WORK?

I believe DEEP WORK is any time spent doing something that creates leverage for future endeavours.

What is a lever?

We use levers to "amplify" an applied force. For example: if you have a flat tyre and you try and loosen the wheel nuts with your hand, you will certainly fail. But by using a wheel spanner that gives you leverage the task becomes easier.

"Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." - Archimedes


The easiest way to explain deep work then is to look at a few examples of activities that create leverage for future endeavours.

  • Doing your accounting by hand is not deep work - spending a few hours setting up a system that automates your accounting IS deep work.
  • Spending an entire day to keep a small client happy is not deep work - working for 3 hours on a proposal that might land you a long-term client IS deep work.
  • Learning a new skill such as programming IS deep work - scrolling through social media is not.
  • Selling a product door to door is not deep work, building an online store to reach a bigger market IS deep work.
  • Reading a book IS deep work - watching a movie is not.


We spend so much time with "busy work" that we think we are working very hard. But if we track our DEEP WORK done per day, we quickly that it's not the case.

We often have days or weeks that pass without doing a single bit of DEEP WORK. I see this as a missed opportunity.

The beauty of doing deep work is that it often results in us having more time to do the things we love in the future. DEEP WORK gives us leverage to achieve more by doing less. I wrote a post a while back about my Daily Frog🐸 Productivity System which is a very simple way of making sure you do more DEEP WORK.

Imagine where you will be in 20 years if you spend 1 hour per day doing DEEP WORK? Imagine where you could have been today if you had only spent the last 2o years doing 1 hour of DEEP WORK per day?

It's not too late. Start today.

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