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

Deep Work by Cal Newport
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This is an engaging, short book about how to achieve deep work. The first half of the book is devoted to explaining why deep work is important. The author claims that deep work is very important for any task that requires a deep level of cognitive thinking. In the first part of the book, the benefits of deep work are described. A lot of anecdotal evidence is presented, showing how some people who have deliberately removed distractions from their workplace, have made enormous progress towards their goals.

The author mentions the concept of "Flow", introduced in the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It seems like "deep work" is almost synonomous to "flow". They both share some of the same characteristics; a state in which all distractions are removed, deep concentration is achieved over a long period of time, and working or deliberate practicing toward a specific goal.

So, it is not clear how "deep work" is different from "flow". Why write a book that seems to cover the same ground as another, very influential book? The approach is a little different for "deep work". The approach is to set aside a time or place when all distractions--especially Internet distractions--can be turned off. This is obvious common sense, but it is a prescription that many--or most--people do not follow.

In fact, most of the book is simply a recounting of common sense advice about getting rid of distractions in order to perform challenging work. I have read the advice in other places and books; so why another book on the subject?

So, this book is somewhat disappointing to me, especially when I compare it with the author's previous book So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, which I really loved. But, if you have problems achieving your goals that you believe you are capable of, then this could be just the right book for you.
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Reading Progress

December 23, 2019 – Started Reading
December 23, 2019 – Shelved
December 23, 2019 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Edgar (new) - added it

Edgar Hi David, have you read digital minimalism and the indistractable book? Do you recommend reading any of those? O The two? Thanks and Merry Christmas


David Hi Edgar. I did not read those books. Are they good?


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