Customer Review

Reviewed in India on 20 June 2017
I'm a self-improvement junkie who hates self-help books. Most self-help books (if not all) masquarades poor advice and wishful thinking as a path to self-progress. Every now and then I torture myself reading self-help books to reinforce my above thoughts about self-help books. Luckily I came across this book as strong recommendation from a twitter account which I really value a lot. And I'm glad that I took the recommendation.

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.
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