Rule #4: Drain the Shallows - Deepstash

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Rule #4: Drain the Shallows

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 need to drain the Shallows – you need to schedule time for deep work and spend as little time on shallow work as possible. Don’t let shallow work get in the way of deep work.

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

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.”

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...

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.

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...

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.

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...

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