By Gaylin Jee
Absorb state is one of 7 ways to boost your creativity. But what is absorb state?
When you are in absorb state, you spend time only consuming information. You are not creating or delivering any output. The concept is also referred to as ‘batching’. It replaces what Linda Stone calls ‘continuous partial attention’, where your attention is diluted by multitasking and disruptions.
Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for focussed success in a distracted world states that a clear rule forbidding any distraction will free you. He experimented with hard focus where he chunked all work into blocks of 30 minutes. Leaving one task to spin off an email requesting information, or to set up a meeting, would be breaking that block of deep focus. If that did happen, your aim would be to then allocate your focus to that new block of work, again, for 30 minutes. For example, if you slipped out of your absorb sate to check emails, the approach would dictate that you then harness the next 30 minutes to work only with emails, and not let your attention be diverted to any other task. Newports experiments showed that deep work requires some planning ahead to ensure the materials and information needed for focused blocks of work are at hand.
Batching, as we might expect, is hard. Disruption has become the order of the day. Multi-tasking is hailed a supposed superskill in a busy world. Yet Newport discovered that his efficiency increased in terms of small task completion, and the overall quality of his work improved. He also reports experiencing more FLOW state than he can remember for a very long time.
‘Deep work provides the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy.’
Ready to try Deep Work, a new superpower for the 21st Century?