- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (12 February 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780349413686
- ISBN-13: 978-0349413686
- ASIN: 0349413681
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 4 cm
- Customer Reviews: 2,182 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #89 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World Paperback – 12 February 2016
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DEEP WORK accomplishes two considerable tasks: One is putting out a wealth of concrete practices for the ambitious, without relying on gauzy clichés. The second is that Mr. Newport resists the corporate groupthink of constant connectivity without seeming like a curmudgeon
As automation and outsourcing reshape the workplace, what new skill do we need? The ability to do deep work. Cal Newport's exciting new book is an introduction and guide to the kind of intense concentration in a distraction-free environment that results in fast, powerful learning and performance. Think of it as calisthenics for your mind-and start your exercise program today.
DEEP WORK makes a compelling case for cultivating intense focus, and offers immediately actionable steps for infusing more of it into our lives.
Cal Newport is a clear voice in a sea of noise, bringing science and passion in equal measure. We don't need more clicks, more cats, and more emojis. We need brave work, work that happens when we refuse to avert our eyes.
Cal Newport offers the most well-informed and astute collection of practical advice I have seen for reclaiming one's mental powers.
Just when you think you already know this stuff, DEEP WORK hits you with surprisingly unique and useful insights. Rule #3 alone, with its discussion of the 'Any-Benefit' mind-set, is worth the price of this book.
Here lies a playbook for professionals of all stripes to achieve true differentiation in a crowded talent marketplace. Cal Newport's latest shows why he is one of the most provocative thinkers on the future of work.
In this strong self-help book, Newport declares that the habits of modern professionals-checking email at all hours, rushing from meeting to meeting, and valuing multitasking above all else-only stand in the way of truly valuable work
[A] worthwhile distraction.
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Deep Work is a common sense book than a self-help book. The crux of the book is that there are two kind of work we do. One is Deep work and the other is shallow work. Deep work is rare and hard. Shallow work is easy and ubiquitous.
What is Deep Work? Deep work is concentrating on a cognitively demanding work with zero distractions to produce quality work. Its demanding and helps provide valuable things to society that are hard to replicate or replace.
What Shallow work? Any work we do on auto-pilot. Replying emails , social media presence etc. These work are easy to replace and not valued much in society.
The book is dividend into two parts. Part I is about why Deep work matter and its scientific backing. Part II is how to achieve Deep work.
Part I doesn't have to try hard to convince us about the internet chipping away our ability to concentrate and contemplate. And provides all the necessary studies and research on internet and its effects on attention. Most of the critique are well ground and rational, and definitely not a luddite rant on the internet.
Part II is how to achieve Deep Work.
Discusses on what type of Deep work philosophy to choose.
Ritualising Deep work: Identify Location and time to do deep work. Adhere to rules and process to deep work. (like no internet)
4DX fundamentals: Focus unimportant things, Act on measures, Keep a scorecard, Create accountability.
Embrace Boredom:Don't take break from distraction. Instead take breaks from Focus. Schedule your internet usage. Structure your deep thinking.
Quit Social Media.
Drain the Shallows: Schedule your day in blocks in advance to focus on Deep work.
Although it follows the typical science/self-help format with familiar paragraphs like 'The Study conducted by University of X researchers on group of people in Y of the age Z in ABC environment agrees with my thesis', this is a potent work with strong common sense solutions to the ubiquitous problem of shallow work. My thoughts on self-help books remains unchanged. However I would highly recommend this book.
To those saying that it is repetitive in the first part, I believe it is really necessary to convince us in all ways possible. Because everyone knows deep work is good just like everyone knows exercise and eating balanced diet are good but no one does them. You really need to be convinced in order to make permanent lifestyle change.
One of the best book READ in recent times.
The 4 rules of Deep Work
Rule #1: Work Deeply
Rule #2: Embrace Boredom
Rule #3: Quit Social Media/Distractions
Rule #4: Drain the Shallows
Other Important takeaways from the book
Focusing on one important task at a time- that’ll advance your position is true and pure deep work.
Deep work is a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.
You lose the sense of time when you’re working on engaging things.
Deep work leads to quick happiness and advances.
If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive- no matter how skilled or talented you are.
When you switch from some Task A to another Task B, your attention doesn’t immediately follow—a residue of your attention remains stuck thinking about the original task. This residue gets especially thick if your work on Task A was unbounded and of low intensity, before you switched, but even if you finish Task A before moving on, your attention remains divided for a while
Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.
Deep work training must involve two goals: improving your ability to concentrate intensely and overcoming your desire for distraction.
We spend much of our day on autopilot—not giving much thought to what we’re doing with our time.
The differences between expert performers and normal adults reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain.
Top international reviews
The book does point out that deep work genuinely isn't for everyone - for different but related reasons, CEOs of huge corporations and carers of young children might be better off entirely working at the 'shallow' level. However, it does make excellent points about how routine administration, productivity checks and social discourse, especially using social media, are vampires of time and attention like nothing else. As well as being very useful for individuals, many managers could usefully read this book, to help empower workers to achieve more of real value and - and this point is not unrelated - stop constantly harassing them with administrative requests of little or no real importance. One important facet of this is it shows very persuasively how deep work is almost the opposite of long work, or overwork - working better decreases working time overall, with much better results. For employees, and intelligent employers, what is not to like about that? It really chimed in with my experiences in the organized working environment.
So highly recommended for anyone interested in how to work better on an individual level, or how work might be done better on an organizational level. I suppose I can't say better than that I actually made one set of the recommended changes immediately on finishing the book...
Highly recommend to anyone, and it has wide relevance across many fields. Also very readable and entertaining. It is a joy to read and has plenty of interesting tales and case studies to make the book flow perfectly, whilst imparting the necessary wisdom.
I'm not sure if I've learned something new that I haven't already read or watched from 5-15min reviews of the book.
In my opinion it could have been much shorter. I felt like I was wasting my time reading a lot of it as it was repeating examples and concepts.
very interesting about open plan offices which I have to suffer. It explains why I have become so frustrated.
I bought it after reading the kindle sample. If you've read the kindle sample, you've read the whole book - nothing else is added.
Cal Newport offers a very compelling argument as to the value of organising those periods when we all need to focus on the work/knowledge we need to obtain to further our professional goals and ambitions. Newport cites examples of key influential and high achieving individuals such as JK Rowling and Bill Gates where they each notoriously became obsessively focused when they needed to achieve the important deliverables or direction they needed in their professional goals.
In a world where information is coming at us in greater variety, velocity and volume, we find ourselves unable to consume enough of or the right information, amidst all the noise. In a contrary way, as the information availability accelerates the less we effectively absorb as valuable and usable content. To be expert or at least highly capable in our work area, we need to build on strong learned foundations so we can deal with the inevitable problems with much more confidence and resourcefulness.
I would be a strong advocate for subconscious processing of information, and deep though periods, as long as we can secure the undistracted downtime for it to be properly embedded into our thinking and rationalisation processes. Newport provides a framework for achieving this way of deep life, but it does require drastic changes to your lifestyle. This may not be for everyone and certainly seems to be more geared towards those in pursuit of academic accomplishment or specialised achievement.
Newport does suggest that to live the life of Deep Work we need to put the distraction of social media aside so we can deploy our minds to its fullest capacity to create things that matter. While I accept that social media can consume considerable time that is of little value, there are many roles in today’s society and workplace that require constant engagement with customers, suppliers, colleagues and online audiences. Like many things in life, it’s all about balance and I would recommend the Deep Thought approach as part of a daily regime but not to the exclusion of all other interactions. It is difficult to account for every minute of the day and attribute it towards a valuable contribution and I can imagine this will lead to frustration rather than reconciliation.
I have started reading this book and I am still on page 72, but the style and examples are so awkward that, I decided to write a review now (the "it's ok" passport for all distracted CEOs, Furrer the craftman etc).
I decided to skip these repeating examples and concepts he is using to convince you and try to make the point. This book could have been much shorter.
> Easy to read any follow as a beginner, anyone could pick this one up and understand it.
> Techniques are easy, understandable and detailed so which is great for beginners who try to avoid shallow work
> The size is great and the cover looks fantastic
To be completely honest Part 1 / 2 felt pointless and kind of repetetive after a while and e especially after reading part 2 the reader most likely doesn't care about the content of part 1 since most readers want to know how to know techniques to avoid shallow work and conduct deep work which part 2 sort of achieved.
Why not replace part 1 with content that actively helps the reader to achive deep work rather than trying to explain over and over again why deep work is important which the reader, judging by selecting this book, is already aware of.
> Long series of repetetive unnecessary text about why email is dangerous, why shallow work is dangerous and worse of all, dry pages of unnecessary situations experienced by the writer or his colleagues with deep work.
Great and all but the most important reason why many reader picked this book is because they want to achieve deep work and focus, not how someone else perceives / experienced deep work.
> Could've been compressed to fewer but more meaningful pages / techniques to achieve deep work and intense concentration. In fact after reaching pg.263 I was expecting around 30 more pages judging by the amount of pages this book has and the remaining pages I saw. What I saw shocked me: 27 pages of notes or more accurately sources (excluding 10 remaining pages of the index)
Conclusion / Recommendation ?:
Kind of. To be honest if you can get it used for half the price or get it as a gift then absolutely go for it. But to be honest this book felt more like a motivational push towards deep work and the importance of it rather than a concentrated crafted piece of literature that actively wants the reader to become concentrated / focused and experience deep work. Honestly I think get a book that gives you more techniques and explanations than reasons.
I felt so scattered and I saw how distracted I was. I was given proof and reason for my lack of concentration, attention and focus. How constant notifications, beeping and pinging can really affect my brain. To be very honest, I was given a gentle wakeup call about how damaging doing “shallow” activities constantly can be. I was also shown that in order to do some real meaningful work without being overworked or stressed, working with intense focus is an absolute necessity.
What I found particularly interesting about this book was the rules for creating and maintaining depth. They were somewhat obvious at first, however, when explained in more detail, it really practical in practice. The author made it easy for me to bring this skill into my life. My favourite was to “Embrace Boredom” which was surprisingly easy to put into practice!
Both sides of the argument were played for “shallow” activities which also showed that it is necessary and for some jobs, it is essential. However, for knowledge-based work, depth is more so. As the working world has shifted from crafts and hard labour to offices and the internet, every “tool” is something we “must use” and “must have”. However, this doesn’t mean that we have to use every “tool” available to us. Social media, emails and other activities aren’t a bad thing, it just depended on whether they would add value to my life or if I would abuse them?
Overall, I have gained a bit more clarity in my mind and in my life. I will look to continue building my deep work skill and maintaining this all-important depth in my life 🤓
Instagram (Book Blog) - 52and1
This book made me feel better in that it gave me science and evidence that it wasn’t just me and that we’ve got things set up in the wrong way; the open plan office, email, phones, eve our behaviours.
Some of the recommendations are extreme and as much as I’d like to adopt them, the author acknowledges that only a few professions could. Also a little expensive to purpose build a remote house to retreat to for months in a year but I’d love to if I could.
By the end of the book I was convinced that I either have to change things or change my job because it’s nature will never be fulfilling.
I’m trying the former but it’s not easy so far.
I’d recommend anyone who reads it to go into the references section and google the study entitled ‘The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance’ for an interesting supplementary.
I was particularly interested to learn of the role of myelination in refinement of motor skills and associative knowledge, but unfortunately that was one of very few allusions to biology. There is a more pronounced psychological than biological leaning to this book as would be expected.
Still, a pretty good read. Almost dropped a star due to Newport’s pretentious overuse of the word ‘serendipitously’ though. Disgusting.