The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT

SHALLOW WORK VS. DEEP WORK

It is common these days to find ourselves working hard and busier than we have ever been.  Interesting thing, with all the busy work we are doing we are less productive in the long run!  Studies are showing that the average person is spending nearly 60% of their time at school or work on electronic communications and about 30% of that time on reading emails and social media.  So how are we supposed to get our “real” work done?  As our society is increasingly getting “busier” people are finding more ways to create easy learning opportunities because it’s how the brain learns to be efficient or another way to put is, we begin doing “shallow” work.  Unfortunately, if you are trying to do something at a high level or degree of success shallow work will not be the best form to create your best work.  Working this way is deceptive, people think they are doing more and learning more but reality is, it doesn’t stick.  

We often see shallow work in golf or in most any activity that takes high skill levels to compete or be successful.   There is an assumption that by taking many lessons, watching hours of YouTube videos, Instagram post and other fragmenting mediums a golfer will learn faster.  This is not true!  When working in a shallow mindset there can be some success, especially in short term context however when needing to recall in a stressful situation like, hitting a tee shot on a tight hole with out of bounds on both sides or a three-foot putt to have personal best or just a three-foot putt for some!  Another form of shallow work is when a golfer just hits ball after ball with no mental recall or association of feel to better deepening the learning process.  Again, our society has taught us that spending time on learning something is not necessary because all you must do is look it up on Google and you have the answer!  

Conversely, if you want to be great at something it is worth spending a lot of time learning slowly or the good ol’ fashioned way, find it in the dirt and transfer the feel into your feet, hands and brain.  Deep work is how you master the neuro connectivity from brain to body.  It is the fastest way to become the best at something.  The next time you are working on your practice plan, remember it isn’t about how fast you pick something up, it is about how slow you can learn it to make it stick.  As I have said many times to golf athletes, “easy is hard”, to be great is to do the ordinary, extraordinarily well!  No magic tricks, a lot of boredom, feeling your way through the process, delivering a high-quality product takes time, don’t rush it!  

Enjoy Your Journey!