“Shallow work keeps you from getting fired. Deep work gets you the promotion.” Cal Newport
Drawing the distinction between depth and shallowness will show you where to maximize and minimize your time, but the role of shallow work in our lives cannot be written out entirely.
The shallow work that surrounds the life of a musician, and especially that of a music teacher, is significant. Most violin teachers who operate in a small organization or completely alone take on roles of work that would be delegated to others in larger organizations. The responsibility of scheduling, billing, planning, organizing, and marketing falls on one person’s shoulders.
I’ve already discussed how I prioritize deep work, and drain as much of the shallow work as I can, but I do want to take time to walk through the system I have in place to make sure the minutiae doesn’t take away from the most important work of my day.
The way I handle shallow work is inspired primarily by David Allen’s system of Getting Things Done. His book by the same name gives a complete, thorough system that will reduce the ambiguity and anxiety that probably surrounds your to-do list.
The system as it applies to the shallow work I do as a violin teacher can be broken down into three parts. [Read more…]