S3E12. How to Focus on Deep Work Without Distraction with Jake Kahana

Are you having trouble finding the time to focus on your most important work in order to move your business forward?

Jake Kahana is a designer, entrepreneur, and teacher — and he’s going to address the above issue. He’s the founder of Caveday, a company founded to maximize productivity for individuals and corporations to facilitate deep focus sessions and deep work training. Their global community has participated in over 10,000 hours of deep work “in the Cave.”

The Cave is a group of people (known as Cavedwellers) working on their most important work for a focused period of time — called a sprint. Cavedwellers start with the hardest things first, they monotask, and eliminate all distractions. It’s a fascinating process and it’s amazing how much important work you can get done during the allotted time frame.

In order to define focused work, it may be best to start with the opposite, something that we’re all likely more experienced with: shallow work. The average focus time at work is about 40 seconds at a time. Once things get difficult we open another tab on our browser, bouncing from task to task until suddenly we find ourselves on Amazon when we should be writing an email. Shallow work is reactive, trying to get work off your plate as it comes in. But when it comes to the kind of work that will make our days feel more productive and ultimately make our careers more rewarding, it requires deep work.

Deep work is focusing without distraction on a demanding task. We spend very little of our time doing that, but the more that we can prioritize the important work in our days and our lives, the better off we’ll be. The problem is that we don’t get the small, frequent bursts of rewards while we’re working on those big tasks. It requires a different kind of thinking, a different kind of motivation, and a different kind of structure for our work.

So how do we change our mindset and stop focusing on all the little things and instead focus on the things that are most important? Caveday offers facilitated deep work sessions where you can be around a group of people all doing their own deep work so that, when you get stuck, you can look up and see other people working hard and it helps keep you on track. It creates an environment where you let go of your distractions, establish a new set of rules, and share your wins, giving you that rush of dopamine that we normally get from accomplishing small tasks.

One of the secrets of Caveday is to trick our brains into entering a “flow state,” a level of extreme focus. There are three conditions to go into flow:

  • Defining the work that you are working on
  • Setting a range of time
  • Remove all distractions and monotask

We need to find time in our day to do deep work. How are you going to change your mindset and set aside an hour a week or more to do the important work and move your business forward faster? Will you become a Cavedweller, or will you attempt to do this on your own? Either way, we need to spend more time on deep focus and deep work without distraction.


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