Adam Zerner's Reviews > Pürdikkat: Odaklanma Becerisini Nasıl Yitirdik, Nasıl Geri Kazanabiliriz?

Pürdikkat by Cal Newport
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it was amazing

Overview: the thesis is that deep work is both rare and valuable in todays world. That's about 1/3 of the book. The rest of the book is practical advice on how to pursue deep work.

Part of me feels like a lot of what was said in the book is common sense. Particularly things that people know but can't find the willpower to do. I think that there is some truth to this. But there's also a difference between "knowing", and *knowing*. I think this book can help take a lot of people from "knowing" to *knowing*. Additionally, there were also a good chunk of things that I didn't know before reading this book.

I gave this book a 5 star rating primarily because of how important I think the topic is. By following the advice, I think it could be genuinely life changing.

Things I personally am planning to change after reading the book:
- A rekindled commitment to eliminating distraction/shallow work from my life. I'm willing to be ruthless in this pursuit. Ex. no more reading marginally useful articles.
- A rekindled commitment to seek out hard things. As Paul Graham puts it, "run uphill".
- Research says that 4 hours is sort of the limit for how much legitimate deep work a human can do in one day. There are also tons of examples of successful people who only put in ~4 hours of deep work per day. So I don't feel (as) guilty anymore about the amount of actual work I get done each day.
- Setting a cutoff point each day. "I don't do any work after 7:00pm". Your brain needs to recharge, and before it can recharge, it needs the confidence to know that there won't be any more incoming work requests until morning. I've noticed that being "constantly on" really stresses me out and makes me less productive, so it needs to stop.
- To end the day, a shutdown ritual is useful. Particularly to make sure there's nothing urgent left to do, and to organize your tasks. This way, your mind won't be worried that it shut down too early and needs to get back to work.
- Previously I was skeptical about the limits of willpower and thought I could just "wing it". Overall I'm still skeptical, but I'm less skeptical and I plan on taking advantage of things that reduce the need for willpower.
- In particular, I plan on sticking to a schedule. If I'm explicitly scheduled to be working from 10am-noon, I'll be less inclined to come up with excuses to procrastinate.
- The idea isn't to constrain yourself though; the schedule can be flexible. The idea is that by putting deliberate thought into what you do, you'll be less inclined to procrastinate.
- It's important to plan ahead so that things like hunger don't interfere with your work.
- Perhaps the most important thing I learned from this book is how dangerous it is to constantly cave in to procrastination cravings. Ex. needing to check your phone for the 30 seconds you spend waiting in line. Doing this basically atrophies your willpower muscles and makes it harder to engage in deep work. Next time you're working on something but are tempted to check Facebook, you won't be able to resist. You're too used to caving in. And even if you do resist, the temptation itself will be distracting. I've actually noticed that these sorts of things happen to me and I hate it. So I'm serious about following the advice to cold turkey eliminate procrastination during designated deep work periods, and to not be constantly occupied. Ex. I don't need to watch YouTube videos while I brush my teeth and get dressed in the morning.
- I'm quitting Facebook. To me, the upside is clearly not worth the downside of having that temptation.
- Productive meditation: take a period where you’re occupied physically but not mentally - walking, jogging, driving, showering - and focus your attention on a problem.

Aside from the core content of the book, I really enjoyed all of the stories and anecdotes. There are a lot of interesting tidbits about the lives of famous and successful people.

Overall, I thought the book was extremely well written. It was very clear and understandable. It was broken down into understandable sections and subsections. And I thought Cal (the author) did a *fantastic* job of using stories to illustrate his points. I've noticed that a lot of writers struggle with this and spend too much time in the abstract. Cal made everything very concrete (in addition to making the abstract point clear).

I should note that almost none of the arguments in this book are air tight. You could poke holes at them. But if he were to make them air tight, the book would be thousands and thousands of pages long.
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Reading Progress

December 1, 2015 – Shelved
December 1, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
December 24, 2015 – Started Reading
December 28, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)

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message 1: by Eduard (new) - added it

Eduard Horak Awesome review (especially about quitting facebook)!

message 2: by Ford (new) - added it

Ford Prior Great review. Loved the action items.

P.Marie Boydston Boy am I glad this one floated up to the top of my list. Is now my March goal. Thanks for a great review.

message 4: by Kees (new) - rated it 1 star

Kees Nice review. I use the words 'knowing' and 'realising' for what you describe. A lot of live lessons are kicking in open doors, but also let us revisit them and examing them closer by putting them in real life. This book is doing a great job at it.

Joey Robert Great review, Adam. I just bought the book after reading your bullet list of what you got out of it. I'd love to hear how your world has changed for the better after activating those things.

Navin Pareek Awesome... Carl Newport is fantastic. Makes a compelling case for cultivating intense focus and offers immediately actionable steps.

discostitches Brilliant review. I've stopped checking my phone mostly except with deliberate intention. I am active on social media - as a stay at home maker/crocheted being able to showcase what I've made to hundreds/thousands of people with the same interest provides a feedback loop and community which I do feel I gain a lot from. However every other week I delete the apps which has been making me so very conscious of what I think to post and when I wish to be distracted. This book has definitely kicked in an open door for me. I've found 15 hours a week where I am sitting undisturbed and absorbed learning to code. I highly recommend it.

message 8: by Justin (new)

Justin Great review

message 9: by Ken (new) - added it

Ken Your review definitely differentiate this book from the mindfulness and the here-and-now bandwagon.

I have made this book a priority in my to-do list in my personal kaizen.

Gabriel Gheorghiu "knowing" and *knowing*. It is true that plenty of books offer advice which one would see as common sense, but having that piece of information or opinion validated by a book is very motivational.

Colleen "knowing" vs *knowing* is the perfect way to describe it.

Nicole I agree with Colleen — a great way to put it!

message 13: by Helmi (new) - added it

Helmi Sulaiman Agree with yr comments

But I wouldn't remove the power of procrastination entirely too...
If we procrastinate strategically we can make use of Zeigarnik effect

message 14: by Erika (new) - added it

Erika Thanks for your insightful review!

Tammy Great recap!

Michaela Simpson Great review. I feel like I could have written it myself! I've taken the same actions as you. Scheduling the day is still a challenge, but when it works it's magical. Keeping emails to dedicated 30 minute slots had also made a huge difference. Deleted my social apps and immediately felt lighter & happier!

Assma Thank you for summarizing the entire book. I think people can pretty much get the gist of he book by reading this review!

message 18: by Ansal (new) - added it

Ansal What a fantastic review! Good luck man!

message 19: by Gerard (new) - added it

Gerard Meijer And: did it work?

message 20: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Scholtz Yeah, awesome review!

message 21: by Chaitat (new) - added it

Chaitat Thank you for your info

message 22: by Tuti (new)

Tuti excellent review!

message 23: by Nadia (new) - added it

Nadia Great review!

message 24: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Great book review, would love to hear a follow up.

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