- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Jan. 5 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1455586692
- ISBN-13: 978-1455586691
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 417 g
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World Hardcover – Jan 5 2016
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"As a presence on the page, Newport is exceptional in the realm of self-help authors."―New York Times Book Review"DEEP WORK accomplishes two considerable tasks: One is putting out a wealth of concrete practices for the ambitious, without relying on gauzy clichés. The second is that Mr. Newport resists the corporate groupthink of constant connectivity without seeming like a curmudgeon."―Wall Street Journal"As automation and outsourcing reshape the workplace, what new skill do we need? The ability to do deep work. Cal Newport's exciting new book is an introduction and guide to the kind of intense concentration in a distraction-free environment that results in fast, powerful learning and performance. Think of it as calisthenics for your mind-and start your exercise program today."―Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and To Sell Is Human"DEEP WORK makes a compelling case for cultivating intense focus, and offers immediately actionable steps for infusing more of it into our lives."―Adam M. Grant, author of Give and Take"Cal Newport is a clear voice in a sea of noise, bringing science and passion in equal measure. We don't need more clicks, more cats, and more emojis. We need brave work, work that happens when we refuse to avert our eyes."―Seth Godin, author of What to Do When It's Your Turn"Cal Newport offers the most well-informed and astute collection of practical advice I have seen for reclaiming one's mental powers."―Matthew B. Crawford, author of The World Beyond Your Head"Just when you think you already know this stuff, DEEP WORK hits you with surprisingly unique and useful insights. Rule #3 alone, with its discussion of the 'Any-Benefit' mind-set, is worth the price of this book."―Derek Sivers, founder, Sivers.org"Here lies a playbook for professionals of all stripes to achieve true differentiation in a crowded talent marketplace. Cal Newport's latest shows why he is one of the most provocative thinkers on the future of work."―Ben Casnocha, co-author of The Start-Up Of You"In this strong self-help book, Newport declares that the habits of modern professionals-checking email at all hours, rushing from meeting to meeting, and valuing multitasking above all else-only stand in the way of truly valuable work."―Publisher's Weekly"[A] worthwhile distraction."―ValueWalk"Deep work is the killer app of the knowledge economy: it is only by concentrating intensely that you can master a difficult discipline or solve a demanding problem."―The Economist"This is a deep, not shallow, book which can enrich your life."―The Globe and Mail"A wonderfully entangled, intertwined, and erudite series of strategies, philosophies, disciplines, and techniques to sharpen your focus and dive deep into your work."―800-CEO-READ"DEEP WORK is now one of my all-time favorite books, and I'm not joking when I say it was a life-changing read for me. I think it can be for you too."―Brett McKay, author of The Art of Manliness"What emerges most powerfully is the sense that it's wrong to think of deep work as one more thing you've got to try to cram into your schedule. Truly committing to it, Newport suggests, transforms the rest of your time - so you'll crank through shallow work faster, be more present in your home life, and eliminate time wasted switching between tasks. Depth, in short, isn't at odds with a full life - it facilitates it. I'm persuaded."―Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian
About the Author
Cal Newport, Ph.D., lives in Washington, DC, where he is a writer and an assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University. He also runs the popular website Study Hacks: Decoding Patterns of Success. This is his fifth book.
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Newport touched a nerve with an issue I haven't been able to name, or put my finger on, but has been bugging me for years now. It's a call to put aside the onslaught of shallow work and make room for a skill that we're quickly losing: intense focus.
While it may be difficult to give up the constant distraction of social media, or the obsessive checking of incoming email, Newport opens the curtain on why you should consider it. "We no longer see Internet tools as as products released by for-profit companies, funded by investors hoping to make a return, and run by twentysomethings who are often making things up as they go along."
Having been a fan of his work for years, and seeing the benefits firsthand in my own life, I left this book with a renewed vigor to reshape the way I approach each day. While Newport provides a helpful process to develop a skill he's coined as "deep focus," it is by no means a rigid system - nor an easy task. However, when you take a close look at the world around you, including your own workplace, you begin to see why the effort is worth it.
There are many books I've finished and put away without ever giving them a second thought. This is one of the rare few that still has me thinking and working to take action.
But, all that being said, there's some good stuff in there and I found it a good motivation to a) pare down on distractions while doing meaningful tasks (not just working), 2) be aware of the effect (as it happens) of a simple distraction to my productivity, and 3) realize that productivity gains through focus is a bit of an "all-or-nothing" approach. The real gains come with a real commitment to focus.
Using famous examples like Carl Jung and Bill Gates, Newport described how they were able to avoid being overwhelmed with the daily trivial details of a busy life and produced important and meaningful work that advanced their careers and their industry. Jung built a log cabin in Bollingen where he could get away from treating patients, and instead focus on writing Psychological Types, a book that would challenge Sigmund Freud's ideas. Similarly, Gates removes himself to a remote location for "Think Weeks", where he reads and thinks big plans, resulting in seismic shifts like Microsoft's 1995 pivot to rule the Internet. Newport even uses himself as an example, explains how he only teaches in one semester, leaving the other free for research.
What all his examples have in common is that their productivity is the result of deep work, periods where their focus and attention is undivided and uninterrupted, where insight can push gently forward until it becomes inspiration. Whether it's an hour before breakfast each day or an entire week twice a year, deep work is the crucial ingredient that produces unique and valuable results. Newport distills his principles into four rules:
1. Work Deeply (duh)
2. Embrace Boredom
3. Quit Social Media
4. Drain the Shallows
As I examined my own situation, I was surprised to see how much time I was spending on "shallow work". Distractions are everywhere, and "urgency" seems to determine what we do. We spend hours and days on activities that have no lasting benefits on ourselves, our loved ones, or even our jobs. By adding even a little bit of deep work into our lives, we can gain a large improvement in the quality of our soul.
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