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Deep Work

Deep Work

by Cal Newport

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5.17K reads

Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.”
Shallow Work:...

In short, because it maximizes the amount of productivity you can squeeze out of a certain amount of time.

And the reason for that is quite simple. Deep work refers to single-tasking, without distractions, in a state of intense focus, for extended periods of time. 

When you switch from some Task A to another Task B, your attention doesn’t immediately follow – a residue of your attention remains stuck thinking about the original task. This residue gets especially thick if your work on Task A was unbounded and of low intensity before you switched, but even if...

If a newbie starts working deeply, he will not be working as deeply and for as long a time period as someone who’s been doing deep work for many months or years.

Don’t expect to be able to work deeply for hours on end in the beginning. You might only have the concentration and energy to do ...

The hard part isn’t knowing that deep work is valuable. The hard part is actually doing it. Why? Because we’re addicted to distractions. We are suckers for multitasking.

The second part of the book is all about helping us deploy more deep work in our lives. To do that, Newport has come up w...

Working deeply, due to its effortful nature, is the very thing most of us don’t want to do. Add to this an environment and culture that makes deep work difficult, and a finite amount of willpower that gets depleted as we use it, and you have a recipe for shallow work. To make deep work a staple i...

Intense concentration is a skill that must be trained. Much like athletes who must take care of their bodies outside of their training sessions, you’ll need to take care of your concentration outside of your deep work sessions. If, throughout your day-to-day life, you give in to distractions at t...

Social media is the prime example for shallow living. As Cal points out, just because it offers a little benefit, doesn’t mean it’s worth the time we give it. You simply can’t work deeply if you feel the need to hop on social media every couple of minutes. Due to its addictive nature, social medi...

The Shallows is the name of a book written on the effects of the Internet on our brains and lives. Shallow work, if you recall, refers to answering emails, making phone calls, attending to meetings, and other inevitable but ultimately low-value tasks. If you’re serious about working deeply, you n...

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