Bookcover - Deep Work

Deep Work

by Cal Newport

Rating: 4/10


Deep Work is the most important work you want to do, but it is also the hardest work to do and make time for. It's easy to seem busy and be always working and stressed out, without making any progress. That's because one is not doing enough deep work. Deep work is enabled by scheduling time, good habits and controlled focus and attention. This book shows "how" to do more of that.

Main Ideas

There is a distinction between two "types" of work. Shallow and Deep.

  1. Shallow Work – can be performed while distracted. And is often itself a distraction. If shallow work is inspected more closely, we can see that it is often not really necessary.

  2. Deep Work – needs maticulate focus. Is hard to do, because our brains like to slack and get distracted. Therefore deep work needs habits build around it to maintain it.

Deep Work is a "superpower" today, when you know how to have large amounts of deep work consistently in your life, you can perform at the top and compete with other people there. This is true for both cognitive and physical disciplines: Science, business, sports, you name it.

The main ideas are to remove distractions. Stimuli like meetings, Slack, email and so on. In that regard it is very much like the rest of the literature "out there". Thinking of books like Indistractable.

In the end, all of this is a clever rehash on a known concept. Namely that of the Eisenhower Matrix. Deep Work is work in the not urgent, but important category. Stuff that is very easy to procrastinate and where we have to keep ourselves accountable by other means to do them. Shallow work on the other hand is everything in the "non-important" sectors.

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