Books Hacks

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World 

Author: Cal Newport

My Rating: 5/5

Summary: Practical tips for being more focused in an age where there are distractions everywhere.

My Takeaways

Deep work helps you quickly learn hard things

Adam Grant batches his work on multiple levels

When you switch from task A to task B, your attention residue still sticks.

Our economy increasingly values depth, not shallow work

Being busy is a proxy for productivity

Deep work is systematically becoming more rare

Skillfully managing attention requires the brain to help cultivate a good life.

Knowledge work is more ambiguous than most type of work that has been around. This ambiguity makes it unclear as to what a knowledge worker does and how it differs from other types of knowledge work.

Deep work can generate satisfaction in an info economy vs craftsman economy.

Our brains construct our worldview on what we pay attention to – Gallager’s Grand Theory.

What you choose to focus on exerts significant leverage on how you move forward.

Your world is the outcome of what you pay attention to.

A work day drive by the shallow work implies that you had a better day.

Humans are at their best when they ar immersed in something challenging.

Current psychology suggests that To Build your working life around the experience of flow produced by deep work is a proven path to deep satisfaction.

Rule #1 integrate deep work into schedule.

Simple Rituals such as planning when, where and what success looks like when doing deep work takes the mental friction away from planning deep work and allows you to think clearer. (Charles Darwin example)

In order to maximize success you need to systematize the efforts that support deep work so you don’t waste mental energy on what you need. 

Zagarnic effect: incomplete tasks will dominate your attention throughout the day, which is why it’s important to turn off work at the end the day and have a planned shutdown ritual. 

Embrace boredom. 

Must train the ability to think deep as it is a skill that needs to be practiced and developed. 

Our minds are rewired to be constantly distracted which is something you crave. 

Practice productive meditation during times when your body is physically distracted but not mentally such as walking the dog

Structure deep thinking process. 

Schedule every minute of your workday

Fixed schedule meta habits can help orient your time to deep work instead of shallow work. 

Become hard to reach by setting up sender filters, do more work when you send and reply to emails and don’t respond. 

Send ambiguous responses to email so that you avoid long email chains. 

Make people do more work to contact you so you avoid distractions.

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