Deep Work

Deep Work

Rules for Focused Success in A Distracted World

eBook - 2016
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Read the Wall Street Journal Bestseller for "cultivating intense focus" for fast, powerful performance results for achieving success and true meaning in one's professional life (Adam Grant, author of Give and Take ).
Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there's a better way.
In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four "rules," for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.
1. Work Deeply 2. Embrace Boredom 3. Quit Social Media 4. Drain the Shallows
A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, DEEP WORK takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories-from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air-and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. DEEP WORK is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.
An Amazon Best Book of 2016 Pick in Business & Leadership Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller A Business Book of the Week at 800-CEO-READ
Publisher: 2016.
ISBN: 9781455586684
Branch Call Number: eBook overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Overdrive, Inc

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Oct 24, 2019

This book is 10% interesting (albeit mostly unoriginal) ideas, 20% anecdotes presented in support of said ideas, and 70% unbelievable, mind-boggling, vacuous bloviation.

I would love to understand the thought process that resulted in this book being more than 60 pages. Especially because the topic is how to produce top quality output, and by my standards writing five pages when three sentences would suffice is the opposite of top quality. Is this how academics write these days? Is this a case of "I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead?" Was there a minimum length requirement by the publisher? Did Newport add all this fluff because he thought that was needed to make the book popular?

I really hope it's not the last one... In any case, if you also think there is something wrong with this book, now you know that you are not alone.

Also, I noticed that there was a long waiting list. You might want to just search the internet for "deep work summary" and spend an hour reading/watching the results. Chances are you will have covered everything there is to be learned from this book.

kristina_rad Nov 28, 2018

I picked up this book because I loved the title, I couldn't put it down because it is full of value for individuals seeking to be more productive and not just 'look busy'. Deep Work argues that by giving tasks or projects total focus for an adequate amount of time, the results can me amazing. At a time in our culture where distraction rules our attention, the strong argument for focus is inspiring. So many interesting stories in this book and especially enjoyed reading the authors own journey of becoming more productive, his tools and mindset. Great book for anyone who does anything and wants to do it better, with the super power of focus.

Oct 14, 2018

I recommend it for anyone who want to be productive and efficient in life.

Jul 31, 2018

--Started but could not complete.. Can not renew because of holds. Will have to re-plan.

Jan 08, 2018

This book is mostly common sense, but it has had a powerful effect on me. It made me realise how unfocused my work had become, and that I needed to get back to a more productive and simpler approach to my work.

I have started to apply Cal's recommendations, and driven to get the most out of 2018! I have even paraphrased the book into a short presentation for small team at work to learn from.

CRRL_JoyO Oct 23, 2017

What an eye-opening book this has been. It didn’t take Newport long to convince me of the importance of deep work. The most important aspect of this book was the useful strategies he included to incorporate deep work into my life. This is certainly one of the best productivity books I have read. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to do more high level work.

aduckie88 Aug 15, 2017

Absolutely fantastic book!

Aug 10, 2017

The advice that is in the book is definitely solid, as I've been following a lot of the book's prescribed practices for years (albeit, pieced-together over the years from various books & sources), and they have done wonders for my ability to stay focused (and my ability to leverage "being lazy", as the book puts it).

However, I'm giving this book 3 stars because most of this book is just filler, with lots of meandering, anecdotes (albeit, mostly-interesting-ish anecdotes), and long passages of text that glorify simple pieces of common sense. The actually-useful, juicy information is a bit too sparse, and I feel that it could've been a fraction of its length, and still just-as-effective.

My advice: Don't read this book. But if you're still interested in it, then read it, but don't be afraid to drop it if it starts to become boring or you feel it's losing its focus as you're reading.

EDIT: Perhaps it's a little harsh to say "don't read it", as I might've been taking some things for-granted due to my existing familiarity with many of the concepts in the book. So if the things described in the book are new to you, then yes, this book might be a game-changer for you, and worth reading, despite the filler. (Though even with the filler, I consider this one of the better "self-help / productivity" books out there.)

Sigh. If only there was a definitive "productivity" book that contained strategies like the ones in this book, but which was more concise and easily-recommendable to others.

Jan 18, 2017

The title just about says it all. This book talks about the ability to focus in a world with a million distractions and how deep focus fosters high levels of productivity, success and personal satisfaction. I thought this was an excellent book and I got some great ideas out of it.

"Deep Work" by Cal Newport is readable, timely, and highly relevant to the information age we're living in. Newport's main argument outlines the differences between "Deep Work" and "Shallow Work" and challenges the reader to examine how much of each they are doing in their professional and personal lives. Shallow work is the type of work that makes one feel busy/productive, but doesn't dig into real creative, valuable content or meaningfulness. Deep Work, on the other hand, does- and is generally completed without distraction, a rarity in most current work environments. This book will certainly make you rethink your habits, evaluate the satisfaction you get from the work you do, and focus in on what you truly want to get accomplished in your life. Pretty deep stuff! ;)

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Dec 22, 2019

Best summary that I have seen is:


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Feb 17, 2020

To learn hard things quickly, you must focus intensely without distraction. 


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