Deep Work by Cal Newport - Book Summary
2 min read

Deep Work by Cal Newport - Book Summary

Deep Work by Cal Newport - Book Summary

Take-Home Message

  1. The worst things you can feed your productivity are multitasking and distractions. The only way forward is to focus deeply.
  2. There are 4 approaches to achieving deep work; the monastic approach, the bimodal approach, the rhythmic approach and journalistic approach.
  3. Be mindful of your use of technology or you’ll live a distracted and unfulfilling life.

My Highlights

  • Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.
  • Shallow Work: Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. These efforts tend to not create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.
  • The Deep Work Hypothesis: The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.
  • Busyness as Proxy for Productivity: In the absence of clear indicators of what it means to be productive and valuable in their jobs, many knowledge workers turn back toward an industrial indicator of productivity: doing lots of stuff in a visible manner.
  • In this new economy, three groups will have a particular advantage: those who can work well and creatively with intelligent machines, those who are the best at what they do, and those with access to capital.
  • The key to developing a deep work habit is to move beyond good intentions and add routines and rituals to your working life designed to minimize the amount of your limited willpower necessary to transition into and maintain a state of unbroken concentration.
  • The Craftsman Approach to Tool Selection: Identify the core factors that determine success and happiness in your professional and personal life. Adopt a tool only if its positive impacts on these factors substantially outweigh its negative impacts.
  • The Principle of Least Resistance: In a business setting, without clear feedback on the impact of various behaviors to the bottom line, we will tend toward behaviors that are easiest in the moment.
  • Three to four hours a day, five days a week, of uninterrupted and carefully directed concentration, it turns out, can produce a lot of valuable output.
  • Two Core Abilities for Thriving in the New Economy 1. The ability to quickly master hard things. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.

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