Disconnection: The Secret to Great Work

A dear friend of mine recently returned from Afghanistan. They remarked they already missed it.

I understood completely.

We carry our work home and our home to work. We are in one conversation pondering another. We open one email and instantly remember a more important task. We say we value “being present”, yet exist in the other place.

Cal Newport, author of several books including “Deep Work” and “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”, prescribes shutting down, specifically a sequential pattern to end the day. This allows one to fully connect to the next place, be it home or an important conversation. And to reconnect, fully charged, the next day.

Newport’s prescription?

-Pick a time to end and make a plan for the rest of the week.

-State you are done. “Shutdown sequence beginning now.”

-Trust your plan.

-Repeat daily.

I’ve tried it and the sequence works. For me, it allows me to plan better and get more of the important things done (first).


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