Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Deep Work says that the ability to concentrate is becoming rarer, just as it is becoming more valuable. The book gives lots of good suggestions for how to cultivate this ability in your life.

Book notes

Deep work is distraction-free concentration

Schedule long, consecutive, uninterrupted chunks of time for deep work

Live near your office, so that you can get to work early

“Master the art of quickly learning complicated things”

Produce the best stuff you are capable of producing, at speed

Minimise time spent on email

The ability to work deeply is becoming increasingly valuable

“The key to developing a deep work habit is to move beyond good intentions and add routines and rituals to your working life designed to minimize the amount of your limited willpower necessary to transition into and maintain a state of unbroken concentration.”

Maintain a tally of hours or days spent in deep concentration

Focus on what is wildly important

Schedule internet usage in advance

Resist the temptation to switch tasks

Put thought into your leisure time – avoid bad habits that undermine those you are trying to cultivate

Continually take a moment throughout the day to ask: “What makes sense for me to do with the time that remains?”

Shallow work is work that someone else could easily do for you

Aim to spend no more than 30 to 50 percent of your time on shallow work

Raise the bar for access to your time and attention

“Develop the habit of letting small bad things happen. If you don’t, you’ll never find time for the life-changing big things.”

“Confront the possibility that your best is not (yet) that good”

Buy Deep Work on Amazon (affiliate link)