Being able to work deeply is a rare and valuable trait today. Deep Work involves working in a state of deep concentration, free from distractions. Think of a blacksmith hammering a sword, or a coder resolving a complex issue. The world barely exists.
Who else practices this?
Cal Newport wrote the book here, and the examples he drew from are worth a quick mention. Think about Adam Grant (psychologist, prolific author), Nate Silver (data analyst), David Hansson (programmer), John Doeer (venture capitalist).
They thrive without overworking compared to their peers because of their ability to work deeply. And their decision to structure their work to enable that depth, as often and for as long as possible.
Get into the productivity flow!
Deep Work involves eliciting the semi-mythical Flow state. Time and meaning collapse into what you're doing in the present. Into your work. You can flow through your work, produce the best work of your life and have a wonderful time in the process.
Doing that involves building your concentration skills. And reducing or compartmentalizing the "shallow" that most people fill their days with. More jobs benefit from this than you think.
Deep Work gives you meaning
Many people who work in this manner attribute their perspective on life to their work, too. It gives you meaning. Shows you beauty, subtlety, individuality. Allows you to experience the ‘sacred’ in a non-religious context. Exposes you to discovery and creation (rather than process and output).
Working deeply makes their life better.
Want to improve your attitude towards working life? Work deeply and find meaning and fulfillment in what you create.
ps: note the "if" here. You don't have to "be" your work at all. More on that, later.