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Going Deep Will Make You More Satisfied

Man followed by ideas

Contributed by Alyssa Peiser

We talked recently on the blog about “going deep” and doing the “deep work.” (See original post here: http://www.theartistevolution.com/going-deep/). We all know that checking items off a checklist is satisfactory – but did you know that living by your checklist (which is also known as your inbox) doesn’t bring the same level of fulfillment as tackling the work that requires more thought and energy?

It is sometimes easier to see deep work and concentration (and the satisfaction that kind of work gives) in a manual job that requires intense, specialized work. Think for instance, of those that used to build cathedrals or glass blowers or sculptors. There is a very tangible outcome for their deliberation. In contrast, those that are “knowledge workers” – those that deal more in abstract concepts (businessmen, marketers, etc.) and not a lump of clay to manipulate – need and benefit greatly from that same intense concentration.

I personally do not have a Facebook or Snapchat account (before you think me a social media purist, I do use Instagram) – which perhaps for someone in marketing seems ridiculous or at best, an oddity. While utilizing all those social media platforms is beneficial and something I do on a day-to-day basis for my work role, it isn’t in those outlets that I create my best work or generate ideas that comes from disconnecting and thinking deeply in order to move the needle forward for clients. Which, of course, is the goal of my work – making touchdowns for the client, bringing in new business, growing engagement. Not busy work just to say I’m doing something.

To go slightly scientific for a moment – our brains and bodies were wired for work. Studies have actually shown that working is more enjoyable because there is a built in system for goals and feedback, as opposed to “relaxation time” in which it can take more work to create something to be enjoyed.

Your mind (what you think about) controls your brain (which controls your doing). When we choose to spend time doing work that is more than mere shallow, superficial actions (i.e. – answering emails), we deepen the neural pathways that actually increase the meaning of our life – and this applies to both work and personal life. In other words, when you choose to focus your life and give it full attention (in deep mode), you get a two-fold reward: the simple reward of challenging yourself in doing deep work as well as the product/outcome from doing it.

Simply put: the deeper and more meaningful the work we do, the greater the satisfaction (on a psychological and philosophical level); conversely, the shallower (and/or negative) the work, the more stressed and frustrated we become.

We do not accept the idea that only certain jobs or positions benefit from deep work. Any job, any position, any role benefits from it. It isn’t necessarily the job – but how you approach it that matters. That is our goal at The Artist Evolution – whether it is the part-time intern or the CEO – that we care deeply about our work and thus look beyond just the superficial tasks at hand. That is what our commitment to our clients is – that we will engage them and their campaign in meaningful ways – that we approach it wholeheartedly and holistically.