"Deep Work" by Cal Newport


| 📖 # 86 |

Title: Deep Work
Author: Cal Newport
Start Date: 1/23/18
End Date: 2/27/18
# of Pages: 304
Edition: Grand Central Publishing 1st edition hardcover (2016)
ISBN: 9781455586691
Purchase: Amazon

Quick Take: convincing

Source: Curt Hamann

Why I Chose It: Deep Work was on my list of books to read after hearing good things from a diverse set of sources. My uncle sent me a copy after he had read it, which is the best kind of recommendation!

Quotes: (1) "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 the skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive." (2) "A deep life is a good life." (3) "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." (4) "Our brains instead construct our worldview based on what we pay attention to...'Who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love - is the sum of what you focus on.'" (5) "A workday driven by the shallow, from a neurological perspective, is likely to be a draining and upsetting day, even if most of the shallow things that capture your attention seem harmless or fun." (6) "'If you want to win the war for attention, don't try to say 'no' to the trivial distractions you find on the information smorgasbord; try to say 'yes' to the subject that arouses a terrifying longing, and let the terrifying longing crowd out everything else.'" (7) "Put more thought into your leisure time."

Other Notes: In this genre, a good book is marked by its ability to both upset and challenge, push back and pull up. I like Cal's writing and found that Deep Work did the job well. It is focused and it challenges in a way that inspires. My takeaways include the importance of doing things well (how you do something matters even if what you do doesn't), and valuing focus and intensity, limiting distractions when possible, and pushing back against the demand for attention, especially when seeking to work hard on something. Put the phones away!! There is a lot of practical advice in a book with an ambitious scope to redefine how we work.

BooksKarl Magnuson