Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World Paperback – 5 Jan 2016
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As a presence on the page, Newport is exceptional in the realm of self-help authors (New York Times Book Review)
DEEP WORK accomplishes two considerable tasks: One is putting out a wealth of concrete practices for the ambitious, without relying on gauzy clichés. The second is that Mr. Newport resists the corporate groupthink of constant connectivity without seeming like a curmudgeon (Wall Street Journal)
As automation and outsourcing reshape the workplace, what new skill do we need? The ability to do deep work. Cal Newport's exciting new book is an introduction and guide to the kind of intense concentration in a distraction-free environment that results in fast, powerful learning and performance. Think of it as calisthenics for your mind-and start your exercise program today. (Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and To Sell Is Human)
DEEP WORK makes a compelling case for cultivating intense focus, and offers immediately actionable steps for infusing more of it into our lives. (Adam M. Grant, author of Give and Take)
Cal Newport is a clear voice in a sea of noise, bringing science and passion in equal measure. We don't need more clicks, more cats, and more emojis. We need brave work, work that happens when we refuse to avert our eyes. (Seth Godin, author of What to Do When It's Your Turn)
Cal Newport offers the most well-informed and astute collection of practical advice I have seen for reclaiming one's mental powers. (Matthew B. Crawford, author of The World Beyond Your Head)
Just when you think you already know this stuff, DEEP WORK hits you with surprisingly unique and useful insights. Rule #3 alone, with its discussion of the 'Any-Benefit' mind-set, is worth the price of this book. (Derek Sivers, founder, Sivers.org)
Here lies a playbook for professionals of all stripes to achieve true differentiation in a crowded talent marketplace. Cal Newport's latest shows why he is one of the most provocative thinkers on the future of work. (Ben Casnocha, co-author of The Start-Up Of You)
In this strong self-help book, Newport declares that the habits of modern professionals-checking email at all hours, rushing from meeting to meeting, and valuing multitasking above all else-only stand in the way of truly valuable work (Publisher's Weekly)
[A] worthwhile distraction. (ValueWalk)
DEEP WORK is the killer app of the knowledge economy: it is only by concentrating intensely that you can master a difficult discipline or solve a demanding problem (The Economist)
This is a deep, not shallow, book which can enrich your life (The Globe and Mail)
A wonderfully entangled, intertwined, and erudite series of strategies, philosophies, disciplines, and techniques to sharpen your focus and dive deep into your work (800-CEO-READ)
DEEP WORK is now one of my all-time favorite books, and I'm not joking when I say it was a life-changing read for me. I think it can be for you too (Brett McKay, author of The Art of Manliness)
What emerges most powerfully is the sense that it's wrong to think of deep work as one more thing you've got to try to cram into your schedule. Truly committing to it, Newport suggests, transforms the rest of your time - so you'll crank through shallow work faster, be more present in your home life, and eliminate time wasted switching between tasks. Depth, in short, isn't at odds with a full life - it facilitates it. I'm persuaded. (Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian)
Engaging and substantive ... Deep Work accomplishes two considerable tasks: One is putting out a wealth of concrete practices for the ambitious, without relying on gauzy clichés. The second is that Mr. Newport resists the corporate groupthink of constant connectivity without seeming like a curmudgeon. (The Wall Street Journal)
Cal Newport is a clear voice in a sea of noise, bringing science and passion in equal measure. We don't need more clicks, more cats, and more emojis. We need brave work, work that happens when we refuse to avert our eyes. (Seth Godin, author of Linchpin)
Deep Work makes a compelling case for cultivating intense focus, and offers immediately actionable steps for infusing more of it into our lives. (Adam M. Grant, author of Originals)
As automation and outsourcing reshape the workplace, what new skill do we need? The ability to do deep work. Cal Newport's exciting new book is an introduction and guide to the kind of intense concentration in a distraction-free environment that results in fast, powerful learning and performance. Think of it as calisthenics for your mind-and start your exercise program today. (Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive)
A fascinating book by American university professor Cal Newport... he provides excellent practical strategies for overcoming modern distractions (Yoni Birnaum Jewish Chronicle)
Popular blogger Cal Newport reveals the new key to achieving success and true meaning in professional life - the ability to master distraction.See all Product description
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Although an adept deep worker earlier in his academic career, Newport reached a point when he realized that there was still substantial room for improvement. “I returned to my MIT habit of working on problems in my head whenever a goo0d time presented itself – be it walking the dog or commuting. Whereas earlier, I tended to increase my deep work only as a deadline approached, this year was relentless -- most every day of most every week I was pushing my mind to grapple with results of consequence, regardless of whether or not a specific deadline was near. I solved proofs on subway rides and while shoveling snow. When my son napped on the weekend, I would pace the yard thinking, and when stuck in traffic I would methodically work through problems that were stymieing me."
He notes that during this period or renewal and recommitment, he doubled his average work productivity as a classroom teacher at MIT while writing a book and published nine peer-reviewed papers -- all the while maintaining his prohibition on work in the evening. "To leave the distracted masses to join the focused few, I'm arguing, is a transformative experience. The deep life, of course, is not for everybody. It requires hard work and drastic changes in your habits." That said, deep work is -- and always will be -- "way more powerful than most people understand"…until they read Newport’s book.
These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Newport’s coverage:
o How to Become a Winner in the New Economy (Pages 28-33)
o Deep Work Helps You Quickly Learn Hard Things (33-37)
o The Principle of Least Productivity (61-66)
o The Cult of the Internet (66-70)
o A Neurological Argument for Depth (76-82)
o A Psychological Argument for Depth (82-86)
o A Philosophical Argument for Depth (86-91)
o Decide on Your Depth Philosophy (101-112)
o Deep Work Scheduling: Philosophical and Journalistic (110-117)
o Ritualize (117-121)
o Make Grand Gestures (121-126)
o Don't Work Alone (126-134)
o Execute Like a Business (134-142)
o Be Lazy (142-154)
o Don't Take Breaks from Distraction. Instead, Take Breaks from Focus (159-166)
o Meditate Productively (169-174)
o Memorize a Deck of Cards (174-179)
o Apply the Law of the Vital Few to Your Internet Habits 192-203)
o Quit Social Media (203-209)
o Don't Use the Internet to Entertain Yourself (209-214)
o Schedule Every Minute of Your Day (221-227)
o Quantify the Depth of Every Activity (228-232)
o Finish Your Work by Five Thirty (236-242)
o Become Hard to Reach (242-256)
Some of these have an implied prefix such as "How to" or "Know how to"; others are clearly an admonition, perhaps even a challenge. Obviously, Newport agrees with Albert Einstein’s determination to "make everything as simple as possible...but no simpler." Also with Peter Drucker's observation, "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." And also with Stephen Covey: "Spend much less time on what is urgent and much more time on what is important."
Obviously no brief commentary such as mine can possibly do full justice to the quality and value of the information, insights, and counsel that Cal Newport provides but I hope I have at least indicated by I am so grateful to him for what I learned and am now applying amidst my own distractions.
Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out two others: Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow and Marty Neumeier's Metaskills: Five Talents for the Robotic Age.
In the book you'll find great case studies/real life examples that will really make you question how much you browse aimlessley online. More importantly, you just might start to wonder what you'd be capable of if you just made the effort to embrace deep work, and retrain your brain to concentrate for longer periods of time. It was a huge wake up call for me.
My favourite anecdote was that of a fellow Professor who wrote a long article describing in great detail why he was only able to spend around 1 hour a day doing his actual job due to how busy he was with admin and other responsibilites. We all know someone like that in our lives right? In this case, Cal completely debunks this myth using great real life examples of Professors in the same position who don't struggle at all, thanks to their specific strategies involving the art of Deep Work.
Was there a time in your life when you used to just get lost in an activity (i.e. achieve 'flow' state)? Well, now it's time to cut down on Facebook and remember what life was like before you watched 15 cat videos before 9 am.
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