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. 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 specialized 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. Altogether, we highly recommend it for someone who is constantly smothered on emails/social media, has less than a happy life, and is struggling with unending thoughts while trying to get some rest.
An Amazon Best Book of January 2016 in Business & Leadership PickOne of the most valuable skills in our economy is becoming increasingly rare. If you master this skill, you'll achieve extraordinary results.Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there's a better way.In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he...E-Book Information Year: 2016;1999
The book is split into two parts. The first explains why deep work maximizes productivity and why only few people practice it. The second part shows us how to actually do it and make deep work a regular practice in our lives.
Cal Newport differs between deep work and shallow work. Deep work refers to distraction-free, high concentration work that improves your skills, creates a lot of value in little time, and is very hard to replicate.
The hypothesis of the book is that the ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill and make it a core of their working lives will thrive.
Why is deep work rare? For starters, shallow work is easier. In addition, shallow work seems to be encouraged by most businesses. Think: constant connectivity, expectations of fast response times, or open plan offices. Employees, choosing the path of least resistance, will simply adopt to this type of shallow-work-inducing environment by, well, working in a shallow manner.
According to Newport, the two core skills needed for deep work are the ability to concentrate intensely and the ability to overcome the desire for distraction. Both sub-skills improve the overall skill of deep work.
Working deeply in a world that constantly pushes us towards shallow work is difficult. In order to achieve this feat, we need to create rituals and routines that are designed to minimize the amount of willpower necessary to transition into and maintain a block of unbroken concentration.
According to Newport, there are broadly four approaches to systematically carving out time for deep work. (As mentioned previously, ad hoc approaches are less effective because they heavily rely on willpower and are thus hardly sustainable over the long-run.)
Rhythmic Philosophy. This involves a fixed time for deep work every day, such as between 5-7 a.m., or a fixed time for deep work throughout the week, such as every Monday and Thursday. Think: Jerry Seinfeld and his chain method.
If you want to dive deeper into the Pomodoro Technique, find out why it works, and learn how to fully optimize it, we dedicated an entire article to it last year: How to Stop Procrastinating and Focus: A Guide to the Pomodoro Technique. 2b1af7f3a8