Deep Work

Cal Newport.

my rating: 5/5

I loved this book. It inspired me to take action. It made me realise the importance of FOCUS over scattered effort.

I now schedule two sets of Deep Work sections in my day. They each last about two hours. I do one after my morning coffee, another one after my second coffee around 16:00, and if I'm feeling good, I do a last one at night after taking a shower.

I am pretty sure I have ADD, and although undiagnosed, I can very strongly feel its symptoms from time to time, especially when I'm stressed or unchallenged. Setting apart time for Deep Work everyday helps me maintain focus, it has helped me stay sharp and productive.

I also really enjoyed Cal Newport's writing style. This was not a book that could have been a blog post. I thoroughly enjoyed it as much as So Good They Can't Ignore You. Both are highly valuable and will help you take action.

After reading these books he's become one of my favourite writers / researchers <3.

A few of my favourite excerpts from the book:

I started “Bill Gates famously conducted “Think Weeks” twice a year, during which he would isolate himself (often in a lakeside cottage) to do nothing but read and think big thoughts.”

*I could relate to this so much. I go to the West Fjords to do exactly this: retreat, think, explore the big thoughts.

“Three to four hours a day, five days a week, of uninterrupted and carefully directed concentration, it turns out, can produce a lot of valuable output.”

*I've never been so productive in my life as I have been the last two months after reading this book and applying the concept of Deep Work. It is how I'm getting this blog post done right now.

“Unless your talent and skills absolutely dwarf those of your competition, the deep workers among them will outproduce you.”

*I love how he goes deep into how "following your passion is terrible advice" in his other book So Good They Can't Ignore You. I think focused work will always win against talent, passion, skills, or anything else. Deep Work is the key.

“In a New York Times column on the topic, David Brooks summarizes this reality more bluntly: “[Great creative minds] think like artists but work like accountants.”

“Adopt a tool only if its positive impacts on these factors substantially outweigh its negative impacts.”

“what it means to live, and not just exist.”

“I quoted writer Winifred Gallagher saying, “I’ll live the focused life, because it’s the best kind there is.” I agree. ”