Book Review: DEEP WORK by Cal Newport

“Deep work is necessary to wring every last drop of value out of your current intellectual capacity”

This is a fantastic read, with strong arguments and practical advice and guidance on how to increase your capacity for deep work, in order to lead a more productive and fulfilling life.

A state of deep work is attained when your cognitive capabilities are pushed to their limits while concentrating without distraction.

The premise is that distractions posed by open offices, social media, emails etc result in our precious time being predominantly filled by shallow work instead.

Newport argues that in order to succeed in the modern information economy, we need to be able to learn difficult concepts quickly, which requires deep focus ¬†and commitment. However, this Information Age has also brought with it many distractions…

He states that to make deep work a habit, you must commit to rituals and routines that help enable it, and steer you away from easy distractions.

Key takeaways:

  • High quality work produced = time spent x intensity of focus
  • Have a shutdown ritual at the end of each day to help battle the Zeigarnik effect ie to help thwart the dominance that incomplete tasks can have on your attention
  • Quit social media… or at least be mindful of how much time it consumes and consider reducing
  • Be more conscious and ruthless with how much time is spent each day on emails

 

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