E06 - A deep dive on deep work

Start to think about deep work like a pro athlete

Hi everyone,

My name is Lemmy and this is my story of how I became The Attention Master.

In Episode 6, I want to help you get more deep work done.

Here is what you are going to learn today:

  • The ideal length of a focus session

  • The natural peak times of a day to focus

  • The deep work paradox

  • How many deep work sessions per day are possible

This week’s community challenge

A 90-minute session of deep work before leaving your phone’s airplane mode

- Lemmy, the Attention Master

Deep work often refers to the concept of focusing on a cognitively demanding task without distraction. It's a state of flow where you're completely immersed in the task at hand.

1. For how long can you do deep work?

The ideal duration for focused mental work or learning is about 90 minutes or less, according to research on ultradian cycles. Our brains and bodies operate on 90-minute cycles, so setting a timer for 90 minutes and dropping into focused work during that time can be effective. It's important to accept that the first 5-10 minutes of this 90-minute period is a transition period, and occasional lapses in focus are normal.

2. When is the best time for deep work?

Peak focus times can vary depending on your sleep schedule and individual circadian rhythms. However, most people tend to experience heightened levels of focus and motivation at three specific times during the day:

  • 30 minutes after waking up

  • 2-4 hours after waking up

  • 10-12 hours after waking up

These times are linked to shifts in body temperature and the release of certain neurochemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. This is when your body temperature rises the fastest, which triggers a release of cortisol that can boost your focus.

3. Treat focus like an athlete - The deep work paradox

The deep work paradox is the idea that the more skilled you are at focusing, the fewer deep work sessions you can do each day.

This is because the intensity of the work scales directly with the amount of time you need to rest after that work. If you are very trained at focusing, you'll actually need more deliberate decompression and defocus.

Neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman recommends doing only two, maybe three sessions of deep work per day.

This is not to say that you should only work for three hours a day, but rather that you should focus on the hard mental work for a few hours a day.

4. The Protocol to take ACTION

Imagine that the day has just begun and you have completed the most important task of the day. Two things stand in the way of this amazing feeling: decisions and distractions.

The more decisions you have to make, the harder it is to get started. The more distractions, the harder it is to stay focused for 90 minutes. Here are a few tips to help you get started on our community challenge.

Reduce decisions in the morning:

  • Put a pad of paper on your pillow when you make your bed. At night, write your first task for the morning on a sticky note and pin it to your computer.

  • Prepare the clothes you’ll wear the next day.

Reduce distractions:

  • No email before your first task.

  • Stay in flight mode until you finish your first task.

  • Keep your phone in another room while working on your task.

Let me know if this works for you via
our brand new Whatsapp community
& see ya next week


  • Community Challenge: 90 minutes of deep work in the morning before leaving flight mode.

  • Limit your deep work sessions to 90 minutes.

  • No more than 2-3 sessions per day.

  • Make the morning count: Peak focus 2-4 hours after waking up.

  • The paradox: better skill to focus = fewer sessions possible. Peak focus is exhausting. Pro athletes take breaks and so should you.

  • Reduce morning decisions and distractions.



We know that mastering your attention is extremely difficult. It's not going to happen in a day. That's why we've created Lemio, an app designed to be your personal buddy on the journey. It's still in beta, but as a subscriber to our newsletter, you can claim your exclusive access via this link:

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