Deep Work by Cal Newport is a great book packed with levers to improve productivity.
Cal Newport subtitled his book “Rules for focused success in a distracted world.”
I’ve written many times about the bad tenant in my life that I have been unable to evict from my person. I rail about the distractions caused by my smartphone yet cannot imagine life without it.
Newport didn’t give us a book full of reasons to toss our phone in Florida lake. He simply disciplines himself with large chunks of time with no access to his phone.
He makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He contends most work today is a series of shallow efforts.
Cal highlights four different styles of deep work in his book:
- Monastic – “This philosophy attempts to maximize deep efforts by eliminating or radically minimizing shallow obligations.” (Think seclusion somewhere.)
- Bimodal – “This philosophy asks that you divide your time, dedicating some clearly defined stretches to deep pursuits and leaving the rest open to everything else.”
- Rhythmic – “This philosophy argues that the easiest way to consistently start deep work sessions is to transform them into a simple regular habit.”
- Journalistic – “in which you fit deep work wherever you can into your schedule.”
Cal suggests we should practice boredom. It’s good for thinking. When we fill every spare moment by filling our minds with digital input, we miss the opportunity to think deeply about important things in life.
Here are three takeaways from the book:
1. I build my days around a core of carefully chosen deep work, with the shallow activities I absolutely cannot avoid batched into smaller bursts at the peripheries of my schedule.
2. 2 Core Abilities for Thriving in the New Economy
- The ability to quickly master hard things
- The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed
3. High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)
This book is full of productivity takeaways.
Leverage your effort spent today with intentional seeking of meaningful work.