In our hyper-connected world, it is getting harder and harder to maintain a proper level of focus. Everywhere you go, there is always something to distract you. If you catch yourself getting caught up in all of the white noise, then Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work, is written for you.
People consider themselves busy, but how much of what they are doing is productive? In his book, Cal Newport gives invaluable advice to help you multiply your productivity, and eliminate distractions.
What Is Deep Work?
Newport defines deep work as: ‘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.’
In a nutshell, deep work is a state wherein you allocate all of your concentration to achieve a specific and meaningful task. Cal also states that deep work is extremely valuable, but is also becoming extremely rare in today’s society.
I found this book very influential, as it opened my eyes to all the distractions I’ve been mindlessly spending my time on. Once you realize all the trivial things distracting you from what’s meaningful, you are bound to see an incredible improvement in your productivity.
The Four Rules Of Deep Work
Going into a state of deep work is simple, but not easy. Cal Newport breaks down for us the 4 rules you need to follow to master your productivity and use deep work to your advantage.
1. Work Deeply
– The best way to work is to just do it. Make sure that when you work, you eliminate as many distractions as you can. The best way to do this is by scheduling. Schedule specific times to check your email, read the news, reply to text messages, and everything else that can snap you out of focus.
2. Embrace Boredom
– Allow yourself time to do nothing. The world can be a noisy place, and having a few moments of silence every day gives you time to reflect on the important things in your life and how you can best achieve your goals.
3. Quit Social Media
– Social media is just one of those things that can turn minutes into hours. If you can avoid using social media without any dire consequences, then I strongly suggest that you do so.
4. Drain The Shallows
– Shallow work is defined as the things that don’t bring you a lot of value. Some shallow work is necessary. Examples of which are checking emails, attending meetings, and the like. However, you’d want to reduce shallow work by as much as possible. Only leave the absolutely necessary shallow work and never let it get in the way of doing your deep work.
Who Should Read Deep Work
This book is for people who want to maximize their time and increase their productivity. A lot of people don’t understand how small insignificant tasks can easily take up their whole day.
Deep Work is also an excellent read for those who feel overwhelmed by all the work they have to do, but don’t feel fulfilled by doing it. A very common problem faced by people is that they are concentrating their efforts on the wrong things. No matter how hard you work, if all you’re working on are things that are not important, then growth and achieving your goals may never be realized.
The Benefits Of Deep Work
Mastering deep work can be incredibly fulfilling. Through focusing on the important and leaving out the rest, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much time you save. Distractions can easily eat up time that can be used for family, friends, more meaningful work, and so much more.
If you feel that you don’t have enough time for these things, then I suggest you take a good look at how your days are being used up. You may find that you are sacrificing what really matters for short spurts of superficial pleasure.
Deep Work is also an excellent way to achieve your goals faster. Like I mentioned before, if you’re spending too much time on non-important tasks, then you may be chasing a dream forever out of reach. The key is to work smart, not long.
Watch this short video breakdown of Deep Work
I urge you to give this book a shot. After I read it, I was immediately able to see an improvement in my own productivity. I also found that being in deep work gives more meaning to the work itself.
I had a couple of goals I wanted to achieve, but before long, I started feeling demotivated and often too lazy to do the work. Reading Deep Work made me realize that I was feeling that way because I was spending my time on the wrong things. It wasn’t the work that was demotivating me, it was that I was doing the wrong work.
This book made me fall in love with being productive again. I was reminded that in order to be successful at something, you have to be in love with the process, not just the outcome. Cal Newport’s Deep Work is written for you and for me. It teaches us that once you fall in love with the journey, work ceases to be work.
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