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Deep Work: How to Develop the Most Valuable Skill of the 21st Century

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https://www.dansilvestre.com/deep-work/

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Deep Work: How to Develop the Most Valuable Skill of the 21st Century
Some books you read, and then forget. Others change a small part of your life. Then there are the rare gems that fundamentally change the way you think, live, and work. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport is one of the later.

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Key Ideas

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The new law of productivity

High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)

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Deep work vs. Shallow work

  • Deep work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. Creates value.
  • Shallow wo...

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4 philosophies to integrate Deep Work into your life

  • Monastic: maximize Deep Work by minimizing or removing shallow obligations. Isolate yourself for long periods of time without distractions; no shallow work allowed
  • Bimodal

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Make Deep Work a Habit

  • Where: identify a location used only for depth, such as a conference room or a quiet library
  • How Long: set a specific time frame for each Deep Work session. 

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Remove distractions

  • Use Headphones: Coworkers will think you can’t hear them and the barrier to interrupt you is much higher
  • Work Remotely: start by asking for a half-day, preferably morning...

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Why downtime is so important:

  • New Insights: as your conscious mind rests, the unconscious mind takes over and provides valuable insights or creative ideas and consolidates memories
  • Recharge: rest fill...

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How to Get Better at Deep Work

  • Quit Social Media: all those notifications hurt your ability to focus and stay focused. Social media isn’t all bad but it’s definitely a bad habit.
  • Practice Saying “No”: ...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

What Deep Work Is

A process of performing “professional activities…in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve ...

Shallow work

The non-cognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted, tend not to create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.

Recognizing our limited willpower

...is the first element of deep work.

That means you won’t have the mental discipline to stay concentrated on a single task unless you prepare your mind and environment to it.

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Why You Should Take Breaks

Why You Should Take Breaks
  • “Movement breaks” are essential for your physical and emotional health. A 5-minute walkabout break every hour can improve your health and well-being.
  • Breaks can prevent ...

When Not to Take a Break

When you are in a state of “flow” it is not good to take a break.

“Flow” is characterized by complete absorption in the task, seemingly effortless concentration, and pleasure in the task itself.

Good Breaks

A “good break” will give that goal-oriented Prefrontal Cortex of yours a good rest by switching brain activity to another area.

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The Flow State

Flow happens when we hit a rhythm and our work hums optimally; when we find "the zone" of productivity. It’s a state that’s easily disrupted by distractions but can be achieved and sustained...

Tactics To Get Into Flow

  • Separate some time to deep pursuits and leave the rest open to everything else. Channel your inner monastic for a limited stretch of time. Afterwards, return to regular accessibility.
  • Remove the obstacles of “when” and “where” by setting a time and a place for deep work, and making it a habit.
  • When you need to do deep work on demand: fit it into your schedule whenever you can. Developing the ability to "switch on" your deep work muscles is less challenging than dedicating the free time to purposeful work.