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Deep work

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

by Cal Newport

Book ratings- 4.5/5


  • Understanding the meaning of the book Deep work by Cal Newport is an excellent book to develop your focus in a distracted world and how to find the true value of your work by going deep in your work ethics and making the work an inevitable part of the life with proper development in your goals. This book focuses on skill development of your work and also deepens your roots towards distraction free mind.

  • What is deep work? Deep work means the 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 hard to replicate .Deep work is really necessary to squeeze your every last drop of value out of your intellectual capacity. Deep work makes us professionally extraordinary makes you feel really important. Cal Newport explains how deep work is getting rare among people as the world is full of distractions and it is really difficult to find depth for your work . The type of work that optimizes your performance is called deep work. Cal Newport's equation for productivity is High quality work produced =[time spent] x [intensity of focus]. Through deep work you can actually learn tough things more quickly because to learn anything you need intense concentration and great focus to overcome the difficulty of the certain subject. The benefits of deep work are 1] your attention is focused tightly on a specific skill you are trying to improve or an idea you are trying to master. 2] you receive feedback so you can correct your approach to keep you attention exactly where it is more productive. To focus intensely you should filter all the distractions and also concentrate on just one single task.

  • Shallow work Shallow work means non-cognitively 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. This concept is given by Dr. Cal targeting the network tools which are distracting us from the things which require unbroken concentration and also they are degrading our focus levels. Shallow work defines how unproductive you are about your work force.

  • How deep work influences your productivity Deep work is actually the thing which concentrates on learning for short amount of time but with laser focus. Deep work influences your your work life and makes you learn difficult tasks from short amount of time. To learn hard things quickly you must focus on the work more intensely without any distractions. If you master the quality of deep work you can master any task you want. The type of work which optimizes your performance is called deep work. Deep work is going to help you thrive more in this world of distractions. Cultivating craftmanship is necessarily a deep task and therefore requires a commitment of deep work. After all life is what we focus on. So the thing to focus on should be crystal clear.

  • Some methods to improve your productivity

1] Evening shutdown This method is really effective when you are actually exhausted after a long productive session. This method involves a proper shutdown routine before you log out from your work flow. Firstly make a proper checklist which you need to check before leaving your work station. Then strikeout the tasks which you have included in your checklist. This can take 15 mins or it might even take an 1hr. Make this a part of your life like an evening ritual before going to bed. But once you shutdown your work you cannot even think about your work after you log out. So just keep a proper track about completion of tasks. [ eg. this evening shutdown can involve replying to the emails or keeping a proper track about your daily productivity or the things which may render in your mind after you shutdown your work.

2] The 4dx rule

  1. Focus on the important thing- From your whole schedule figure out the most important thing which needs to be done urgently. Work deeply on the main task 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.

  2. Measure your success when you figure out the goal. Lag measures are those you are trying to improve. Lead measures on the other hand, measure the new behaviors that will drive success on the lag measures.

  3. Keep a track of your wins. Maintain a scorecard creates a sense of competition that drives us to focus.

  4. The execution of the plans require proper discipline. Follow your plans and execute at any hype.

3] Stop switching the tasks Switching task A to task B can make you render on the previous task rather than the current task you are doing if you are doing one particular task then carry on with it until you don't finish it. Changing task consecutively will degrade your focus levels and make you feel more distracted and unproductive. When you change tasks the residue of the previous task will remain in your mind causing a diversion from your current task.

4] Accept boredom When you are generally free stop using your devices and instead focus on your self improvement and skill development or just do nothing and just take a break from your hectic schedule. Because when you are free and when you go through your phone you end up procrastinating and feeling distracted from your actual goal. So instead give up your phone and just accept boredom.


  • Drain the shallows In this part Dr. Cal talks about the work on which we spend time unknowingly and get distracted from the actual agenda. Analyze a particular task and ask yourself is this work so important to spend some time on it? If the answer is "no" then make sure you would look on that particular task when you are free. Only prioritize the tasks which are actually important or really need some attention.


  • Quit social media Social media is a device which is compared to the slot machines where you actually put in your personal information and time in return of entertainment. Social media is designed by psychologist who knows on which content or news you are going to click as you provide your age during sign-in. They look at your statistics and provide you the most addictive content. The only thing social media does is it injects the negativity and short tempered mindset into your brain. News are actually overrated source of information news actually grabs your attention with the help of their catchy title and short and incomplete information which attracts readers and also insist them to spend more time on their site. Digital sites and apps are really addictive that can actually reduce your focus level and also detach yourself from the real world. When you have some free time try to avoid the things which catches your attention at the moment instead dedicate some time on advance thinking to the question of how you want to spend your "day within a day". If you instead fill this free time with something of more quality, their grip on your attention will loosen. Do not use internet for entertainment.

  • Conclusion In short this book signifies the importance of quality deep work which underlines the need in this world of distractions. It is a great book for those who want to live a more focused life by filtering the outside noises. This book might change your relationship with focus and productivity.


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