Book Review: Deep Work By Cal Newport


The book Deep Work is written by Georgetown Professor Cal Newport. Here in the book, the author has emphasized the importance of working distraction-free and producing the valuable things the World needs. Deep Work is doing distraction free focused work.

Book Review: Deep Work By Cal Newport, a well-reputed computer science professor at Georgetown California

Deep Work By Cal Newport

Here is my review of the book; "Deep Work".

1. Deep work or distraction-free work is the only way to succeed big in today’s competitive world.

2. All the most successful people e.g. Carl Jung, Bill Gates, JK Rowling, Woody Allen, or Peter Higgs, are some ways connected with doing deep work in their trades that have resulted in tremendous success.

3. Most of the things now that are being popularized like time savers or ways to be more productive like using the Internet for research; are nothing but time thieves. They make us more distracted and result in Shallow or trivial work than doing deep work.

4. Social media or other ways to stay connected with the world takes away most of our productive time. If you could not completely get out of using them then practice using them the least.

5. You can learn anything fast and start a new career you love if you practice the Deep Work or Focused work.

6. You can achieve proficiency in even the hardest thing you knew through deep work. You can learn a new skill, start a new business, and become a great coach or anything you dream through Deep Work.

7. We are living in a fast-changing world. The things that exist now may not exist ten years from now. And in such a fast-changing world. You need to be adept in learning anything that comes in your way to success. And that is only possible through working distraction-free.

8. Forget that you have to work longer if you want to succeed or become exceedingly valuable to anything because only 3-4 hours of concentrated work is what you only need.

9. In today's economy; these three types of people would thrive; Who have access to capital; Who are the best what they do; Who can work well and creatively with machines.

10. You may not have free access to the capital you need, but you can become the best on what you do and you can also learn to work with machines well if you practice the deep work.

11. Learn the hardest thing through focused work and become the master of it up to an extent that you become second to none. And learn the things quickly through deep work so that you also have more knowledge and expertise than your competition.

12. If you want to learn any hard things you must focus intensely without distraction.

13. You produce valuable work if you intensely work for it. The time given to the task is important but it is not the only thing that helps in producing the great work.

14. You simply can't produce great work if you do multitasking and switch from one task to another without completing anyone. If you want to produce the most valuable thing, you need to focus intensely on your task for a long time without any distractions.

15. When you know what matters most to you, you are clear about what does not need your attention. And the deep work is only possible when you are clear about the most important task you need to work on.

16. Going deep is the only solution in today’s distracting working environment where technology has outpaced everything and if you don’t use it you are considered outdated and uninformed.

17. Have you ever figured out how much time do you spend daily on social media and answering emails that are not in your job description? Multiply it by 365 and you would be shocked. This is the time you use on shallow activities.

18. If you focus on happiness you get happiness and if you focus on bad things in your life you would get them as well. There are always terrible circumstances in your life that are just in your life and you would always be surrounded by them. You have to choose where you want to focus on. You have power within and now you have to decide where you want to use it.

19. You should focus on good things in your life. Feel love, think great and act like it is the best day of your life and your day would turn like that.

20. Ignore the negative events in your life and concentrate on positive events that make you cheerful. Following this, you would make your world better no matter what your circumstances are. Your world is what you pay attention to.

21. People are happy when they are doing some important task and their attention is focused on the job not when they are relaxing and doing nothing. Keep busy yourself in challenging tasks that are important and you will feel happier.

22. Throughout the day you would be bombarded with many desires which would distract your concentration and do the work you must do. Don’t let them succeed instead develop the habit to get away from such desires and do your work.

23. Willpower is limited. It depletes every time you use it. It is like a muscle that tires. So, develop a working schedule to minimize the use of willpower. You must have a fixed schedule of working on your things daily and make it your routine. Get all your important projects on schedule; so that you don’t need to use that limited resource” Willpower”.

24. Monastic Philosophy of Deep Work; you are only accessible to things that truly need your attention. By following this philosophy you can totally avoid distractions taking your time away from doing deep work. It is philosophy best suited to individuals who want to achieve something big and important in their lives by only doing things they love to do.

25. In the Bimodal Philosophy of Deep Work, you divide your time for deep as well other things. This philosophy is best suited for anyone who has goals to succeed in some aspect and also they have some other obligations to fulfil.

26. The Rhythmic Philosophy of Deep Work; This philosophy of producing great work is for those who have a regular job and can’t spare more time. They have put aside some time where they would do focused work regularly. It is best suited for an office going person who has to give his whole 9-5 time to someone else. It is for me (currently I give more than 12 hours to someone else).

27. The Journalistic Philosophy of Deep Work; this deep work philosophy is for experts who can switch over to different tasks in moments without losing focus on anyone.

28. If you want inspirations to start working then probably you would ever start. If you want to produce something valuable you don’t need to wait for inspirations to strike in your little mind.

29. Follow rituals to reduce the dissipation of your willpower in deciding whether you’re working right, what should you do or similar these doubts. Well, structured rituals and habits would help you get great work done.

30. You can’t work on everything at the same time. Focus only on some important things and prioritize working on it. The reason is if you try to do more, actually you get very less done.

31. Work for a good enough time on your important things because if you give more of your time to them your productivity increases and you approach to your goals faster.

32. Record how much time you’re giving for deep work daily.

33. The performance review is compulsory for achieving better results. You can review it weekly. If you’re not accountable you don’t really know where you’re going.

34. You need good rest to get your brain recharged for next day’s work and for this you need to follow a ritual where you should end up your day after clearing the things. You must not worry about things still need to be completed for the day.

35. You can only do the deep work when your brain is fully rested.

36. You must focus your attention again and again on the things you want to accomplish. And this mental practice would help you more than you think about getting what you want.

37. Limit your time using tools and resources that don’t necessarily add any value in doing the deep work. Don’t just use them with any benefit mindset.

38. Not all highly successful people use the latest social media tools to connect people or friends. Some even don’t have ever joined the latest popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc.

39. Get rid of all the useless things in your possession because that is the stuff you would not need anymore. This would ease the burden and you would live better without the stuff you have but don’t need.

40. You have only 24 hours in a day and if you focus on unnecessary things in your brain then you’re going to burn out energy you could use for deep work.

41. You can’t get everything done perfectly but you can get some things done well if you focus on a few things.

42. You can get rid of many things if you run a test. Stop using them for a few days or weeks and if you just passed the time without going back to them. You can stop using them completely.

43. Plan your leisure time with activities that truly worth doing rather just relaxing and filling your brain with outcomes of shallow activities of browsing the Internet, gossip or anything that does not relate to anything useful.

44. Get more of work done in lesser hours. Be laser-focused. Don’t waste your time on trivial things that don’t result in anything important.
If you prioritize your tasks and work deeply you can do a lot more in lesser time than you think.

45. Schedule every minute of your day so that you could know where you’re investing your time. This way you could know which activity is robbing your time and you could act on it. Sometimes you have to change your schedule due to a change in your activities and that is not a problem. If you don’t do this your time would be robbed by shallow activities like web surfing, social media etc.

46. What is shallow work for you? You have to well decide it so that you could eliminate or reduce the time spent on such things. If the work can be done by someone else with some guidelines or you can train someone to do that in a short time then you should delegate those tasks to others who could help you.

47. Planning your work and assigning time blocks for various activities is an easy way to minimize shallow activities in your life and giving most of the time to important activities.

48. It may not excite you but the fixed schedule working has added benefits and highly productive. You can control shallowness in your life and get more time for activities that matter the most.

49. Deep work is important. If you want to be valuable and give the world something it needs then there is the only way to that and that is working deeply on things you want to accomplish. Deep work is a differentiator between success and failure. You can achieve much more than you think about working deeply and that is all within a fixed schedule.

Some other books and publication mentioned in the books are;

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr

Hamlet’s Black-Berry by William Powers

The Tyranny of E-mail

The Distraction Addiction by Kin Pang

Race Against the Machine by Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee

How to Become a Straight-A Student by Cal Newport

To Save Everything, Click Here by Evgeny Morozov

Rapt by Gallagher

All Things Shining by Dreyfus and Kelly

Willpower by Roy Baumeister and John Tier

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