Dillon's Reviews > Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Deep Work by Cal Newport
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it was amazing

I enjoyed this book as a pragmatic guide to ordering work and study. Having come of age during the mid-2000s when Facebook was just getting its wheels, I definitely allowed myself to be blindsided by the seduction of constant social updates. I probably spent the better part of the past decade somewhat handicapped by some form of addiction to notifications and updates of some kind. College for me was a time of near-constant distraction. I found that the only way to truly study was to print out the pages I'd need in advance and visit the library without my laptop. Even then I would find it was difficult to focus, and I thought that studying into the early hours of the morning were merely par for the course in engineering. In the years since I started working I realized that my habits were basically foolish. Like Dr. Newport says, focused work - "deep work" - is orders of magnitude more effective than the distracted alternatives which I had previously adopted. Consciously working to improve my focus has done wonders for my ability to get work done and to absorb information in less time than it would have taken in college.
So that's where I'm coming from. From that vantage point, this book was helpful in affirming the importance of focus and the dangers of distraction. It also provided some very useful tips - for example, only using those digital tools (like Goodreads!) which add more utility than they take away, time-blocking a day's work in advance, and utilizing a shutdown ritual and a hard stop to end a day's work. All useful suggestions in doing the work aspect of life well, while not allowing it to intrude on the other things we do. From this perspective, if you are in a knowledge field, deep work is essential to living a balanced life. Too much shallow work will only provide the illusion of productivity while withholding the fruits.
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Reading Progress

February 6, 2017 – Shelved
February 6, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
April 25, 2017 – Started Reading
April 25, 2017 –
page 49
16.55%
April 28, 2017 –
page 228
77.03%
April 29, 2017 – Finished Reading

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