Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Book Overview

In Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, MIT alumni and professor, Cal Newport, introduces four rules for developing the lost skill of being able to be fully immersed on complex and meaningful tasks.

Main Takeaways

(1) Deep and shallow work are significantly different. Deep work is cognitively demanding and requires intense focus. Shallow work doesn't demand much cognitively, and can often be performed with some level of distraction.

(2) To develop the habit of deep work in our lives, we need to introduce rituals, practices and daily routines designed to limit  distractions for long enough to be able to get into a state of sustained concentration.

(3) Our ability to produce the highest levels of quality work and to develop a level of mastery, are two skills that cannot be overlooked when it comes to how we manage our relevance and success in an ever-changing economy.

(4) There's just as much value in thinking deeply, as there is in doing deep work. So, when we have down time, or are doing menial tasks, we can use the opportunity to think about how we might solve a complex problem.

(5) The ability to perform deep work has become a rare skill, so those who are able to develop it as part of their working day, will be at an advantage over those who don't.

Favorite Quote(s)

Deep work is at a severe disadvantage in a technopoly because it builds on values like quality, craftsmanship, and mastery that are decidedly old-fashioned and non-technological.”

"To produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction.”

For an individual focused on deep work, the implication is that you should identify a small number of ambitious outcomes to pursue with your deep work hours.

Human beings, it seems, are at their best when immersed deeply in something challenging.

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