Deep Work - Deepstash
Deep Work

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Deep Work

by Cal Newport

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Cal Newport

“What we choose to focus on and what we choose to ignore—plays in defining the quality of our life.”

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Shallow Work

It is the low-value work that is done in a distraction-ful environment and most of the time it is done by multi-tasking. 

Shallow Work - 

  • Low productivity work.
  • Adds no improvement over time.
  • May be automated in near future.

If we continue to do more shallow work then our ability to perform deep work decreases over time. Here we use 'business' as a proxy to 'productivity'.

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Deep Work

Definition: 'Professional activities performed in a distraction-free environment that pushes your cognitive abilities to their limit. Those efforts create new value, improve our skills, and hard to replicate.'

Deep work - 

  • Stretches your mind.
  • Gives meaning to your life
  • More valuable as it becomes scarce.

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CAL NEWPORT

“If you service low-impact activities, therefore, you're taking away time you could be spending on higher-impact activities. It's a zero-sum game.”

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There are 4 different methods for Deep Work -

  1. Monastic Deep Work
  2. Bimodal Deep Work
  3. Rhythmic Deep Work
  4. Journalistic Deep Work

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Here you leave everything and go to somewhere you are disconnected from the world - live like a monk to focus only on one thing. (It is not always possible for everyone.)

In 1970 Bill Gates isolated himself from the world for 8 weeks and where he had created the first version of Microsoft which becomes a multi-billion dollar company right now.

"THINK WEEK" - Each year Bill Gates isolated himself from the world and do nothing but reading and think big thoughts.

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#2 Bimodal Deep Work

This type of Deep work is for those who are not able to follow Monastic Approach. 

Here, when you need to perform Deep work you go to a separate place (which must a different place from where you spend most of your time) and do your work for 12-72 hours (not continuous!) and comes back to your regular life and repeat it until you have finished the work.

J K Rowling finished the last book of the Harry Potter series (Deathly Hallows) in a Hotel. She just went to that Hotel for writing the book.

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#3 Rhythmic Deep Work

In this type of Deep work, you block a specific time each day in your calendar to perform Deep Work. At first, it may be 1-1.5 hours but when you start to do it regularly you can stretch it to 4 hours.

If possible try to schedule your time for early morning because if you complete your main task before doing anything others, then it will give you a confidence boost and also many people feel energetic in the morning.

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#4 Journalistic Deep Work

Here you just work like a journalist - whenever any incident occurs you have to go. That means here you perform deep work whenever you get free time.

Cal Newport, the author of this book, uses this method for his work.

Here you are most free to do deep work any time. You can start doing Deep work by this method then you can convert it to the Rhythmic approach. 

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CAL NEWPORT

“If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive—no matter how skilled or talented you are.”

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  1. Decide What is Deep Work for You: Which task you want to in 'Deep work' mode.
  2. Schedule Distractions: In your calendar set the times when you will check your phone or other distractions.
  3. Deep Work Ritual: Make deep work your daily habit. Keep a fixed time when you will do deep work.
  4. Evening Shut Down: In the evening plan your next day and write everything down that needs to do next (from your mind) and say "Shut Down Complete". Then detach from your work and enjoy the time with your loved one and have a good night's sleep.

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  1. The ability to quickly master new things.
  2. The ability to produce at an elite level term in both quality and speed.

For both of these abilities, you have to do Deep Work.

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Just try it as an experiment - 

  1. Quit all social media (e.g. Twitter, FB, Snapchat, Instagram) for 30 days.
  2. Don't tell anyone that you are doing it.

After 30 days ask yourself these 2 questions - 

  1. Would the last 30 days have been notably better if I had been able to use those services?
  2. Did people care that I wasn't using this service?

If any of the answers is 'NO' then quitting that service is good for you.

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CAL NEWPORT

"Who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love—is the sum of what you focus on.”

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