Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

byCal Newport
Rating 8.5 /10 Readability
Read Time 9 hrs Readible On
Published: 2016Read: February 17, 2016Pages: 288
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by Juvoni Beckford@juvoni

Deep Work is a very powerful concept and skill. It is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. This book gets bonus points for the concept, even if the book didn't meet my expectations. For a book with Deep in the title, I hoped Cal Newport would have added some more depth to the content. Specially more focus on overcoming obstacles to deep work and making yourself mentally prepared for it. So more focus on Focus itself, Flow, Systems and Habits. I also felt that the author's examples were too biased in favor of his arguments and needed more battle testing. I do agree about the importance of focus and work in our lives, but I've realized focus can be a privilege and would have liked more examples that were practical to areas outside of knowledge workers.

Motivations to Read

My most productive periods are when I am in flow or doing deep work. It is the holy grail for someone who wants to get things done and learn things quickly. This skill is extremely important in todays hyper-connected and distracting period. I've spent a lot of time learning how to make technology less frictionless, so there is a better buffer for my attention and focus. Apps and services are designed to get us hooked, but I'm on a mission to un-hook myself.

3 Reasons to Read

  • Improve your ability to focus and do Deep work that will allow you to tackle cognitively demanding tasks.
  • Improve your skill to produce better results and learn things more quickly.
  • Learn how to switch from consuming to producing and add value to the world.

Notable Quotes

“To remain valuable in our economy, therefore, you must master the art of quickly learning complicated things. This task requires deep work. If you don’t cultivate this ability, you’re likely to fall behind as technology advances.” Cal Newport

“Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.” Cal Newport

“If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive—no matter how skilled or talented you are.” Cal Newport

“Two Core Abilities for Thriving in the New Economy 1. The ability to quickly master hard things. 2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.” Cal Newport

“If you keep interrupting your evening to check and respond to e-mail, or put aside a few hours after dinner to catch up on an approaching deadline, you’re robbing your directed attention centers of the uninterrupted rest they need for restoration. Even if these work dashes consume only a small amount of time, they prevent you from reaching the levels of deeper relaxation in which attention restoration can occur. Only the confidence that you’re done with work until the next day can convince your brain to downshift to the level where it can begin to recharge for the next day to follow. Put another way, trying to squeeze a little more work out of your evenings might reduce your effectiveness the next day enough that you end up getting less done than if you had instead respected a shutdown.” Cal Newport

Notes for this book are still being transcribed.
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posted August 4, 2016

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