Getting to Deep Work
Takeaways from the great book, plus some interesting articles.
I recently read the book Deep Work by Cal Newport. The book is fantastic and helped me see ways to improve my work in terms of quality and productivity. Cal Newport defines deep work as:
“Professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.”
Below are a few of my takeaways.
Deep work is more satisfying and makes you happier than shallow work.
Multi-tasking is doom. Our brains aren't meant to multi-task, and we are terrible at it.
Embracing boredom will make you better. Boredom ignites new ideas as the brain meanders through thoughts.
Deep work requires intentional focus. Technology, people, or you will always get in the way of deep work if not accounted for and dealt with upfront.
Deep work requires foresight - you can't do deep work if everything is constantly on fire. You have to plan for the month, for the week, and the day.
Deep work requires ruthlessly eliminating shallow work. Shallow work is everywhere, like checking email every 30-minutes or doomscrolling through LinkedIn.
Schedule every minute of your day to get the most out of it.
Deep work requires practice, be patient with yourself.
We have finite willpower, we must use it well.
Work/Life balance doesn't just happen, it must be planned.
Develop Deep work routines and rituals to help you get to flow and produce work that matters.
The way to identify deep work is to ask, "How long would it take to train a smart person to do this as well as I would?" If it would not very long to train them on that task, it's not deep work.
This post was originally published at adamjwalker.com.
Great reading from this week
The 80/20 Rule Is Counterintuitive — You Need the 51/1 Rule Instead - I’ve talked about the 80/20 rule for years, but this article turned that on its head with the 51/1 rule. The idea is that by applying the 80/20 rule to itself, eventually, you get to the point that doing 1 task can produce 51% of your desired results.
Science Just Discovered Your Brain Really Hates PowerPoint - Did we really need science to tell us this?
Please Stop Using These Phrases in Meetings - One of the phrases we should stop using is, “ok, I’ll give you your time back” when a meeting ends early. Read the article to see why!
Other interesting reading from the week
Why Thomas Edison Required Job Applicants To Eat Soup In Front Of Him - It wasn’t because he was a weirdo.
How many close friends do most people have? The answer is … - Do yourself a favor, click this link, and just look at the graphic in this article.
52 Realistic Microhabits to Live a Little Better Every Day - Several of these are pure gold, I’ve now read through this list several times, and still have the tab open!
Here's What 260 MPH On The Autobahn In A Bugatti Chiron Looks Like In Real Time - I’ve always wondered what it would be like to drive super fast on the Autobahn. Now I know I never want to find out in person.
Great podcast episodes to check out
Externalities - Akimbo Podcast
S-Town - this is a whole season and is a fascinating story.
My Podcasts to check out
Tech Talk Y'all - My tech/comedy news podcast.
TogetherLetters - My podcast about the app that I’m helping build to keep people better connected.
Real Pink - I host the national podcast for Susan G. Komen. If you want some inspiration or information about breast cancer, give it a listen.
TechBridge Talks - A podcast about using technology to end generational poverty.
Do me a favor?
Did you find anything helpful or interesting here? Pay me back by sharing it with someone. Thanks for reading!