Deep Work - rules for focused success in adistracted world

Cal Newport

a really brief summary

There are two diverging trends in our society:

  • by one hand in our society tend to succeed those whose can be considered high-skilled like real professionals in data science realm
  • on the other hand the same society force ourself to an increasingly fragmented style of life, full of shallow stimolous and activites, like reading Facebook notifications or immediately reply to emails

That is why the good author of the book calls for a regaining of the ability to perform Deep Work i.e. the kind of of activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. This efforts are the one able to create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.

Perfoming a lot of this work will make you rare and valuable, and hard to substitute.

To gain the ability to perform a relevant quantity of this kind of work, Cal defines and explains the following rules:

  • work deeply
  • embrace boredom
  • quit social media
  • drain the shallows

Each of this rules is explained an made applicable trough a set of practical advice and suggestions.

what I have succesfully applied from this book

After reading this book I dramatically changed my attitude trough work: rather than try to accomplish every kind of task I was charged of I started organizing my work day with a clear objective: devote the greatest number of hours to the activities which will make me valuable and possibly irreplaceable.

Moreover I started to fiercely defend the hours dedicated to those activities. This means becoming quite hard to be found in the morning, since it is for me the most productive time. To do so I set “do not disturb” as Skype status, I move all meetings in the afternoon and I do not open Outlook and Gmail before 11.00 (well sometimes I do it at 10.30, but you got the concept).

Tha main idea behind this is that something really urgent would arise before that hour it would find its own way to reach me, either trough phone call or in-person contact.

has it worked?

It definitely worked, since after applying the advices included within the book and the main strategy described above, I managed to conclude the writing of my last book and two more miliar activities at work, underlined from a public praise of my highest boss.

Do you think it is not enough? Well, I finished reading the book just a few months ago :)