Over the weekend, the NY Times interviewed a classmate of mine from Dartmouth and fellow oarsman on the freshman crew team, Cal Newport, about his book and his idea, Deep Work. Here's the crux of the idea: Deep work is my term for the activity of focusing without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.
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.
Monastic: maximize Deep Work by minimizing or removing shallow obligations. Isolate yourself for long periods of time without distractions; no shallow work allowed
Bimodal: divide your time into some clearly defined stretches to deep pursuits and leave the rest open to everything else. Reserve a few consecutive days when you will be working like a monastic. You need at least one day a week
Rhythmic: involves creating a routine where you define a specific time period — ideally three to four hours every day — that you can devote to Deep Work
Journalistic: alternate your day between deep and shallow work as it fits your blocks of time. Not recommended to try out first.