Deep Work by Cal Newport


Cal Newport

  Self Help, Behavior

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3 Essentials of Deep Work by hello mba Shots

Increase your intellectual capacity using Deep Work


Definition of Deep Work-

According to the author, deep work is the "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.”


Opposite of Deep Work is Shallow Work:

The author defines shallow work as " noncognitively demanding tasks" which require very little concertation and can be done even while being distracted. This sort of work is simple to replicate. 

This book revolves around the idea that deep work is becoming very rare which means it is becoming extremely valuable. The need to look visibly busy is what causes people to disregard deep work.


Essentials of Deep Work:

1. Single-tasking :

Believe it or not, but numerous researches have proven that multitasking actually makes people less productive. Multitasking may maximize productive output but not overall productivity.


2. Zero distractions:

No need for explanation here. Both the quantity and quality of work increase when there are no distractions.


3. Extreme Focus:

If you can muster up all the energy into the desired task without any distraction, you can get a lot more work done in lesser time. More focus equals more productivity.


Be mindful of Attention Residue:

  • Attention residue is the reason why deep working for long periods of time is more efficient and productive. 
  • This is based on the concept that when we switch from one task to another, our mids often remains stuck thinking about the previous task thereby reducing attention from the present task. Therefore, working deep on a single task avoids this effect.


Deep Work is a skill:

  • According to the author, deep work is a skill that can be developed over a period of time. Just like any other habit, deep work can be learnt through constant practice.
  • Do not expect to get it correct the first time around. With practice, you will be able to increase output and productivity through deep work.



Four rules of Deep Work:

1. Work deeply:

  • Systemize and organise your actions. What time? what place? how long? what to do? how to do it? etc.
  • Create a system of deep work and define all these parameters beforehand.
  • Cut out all distractions. You will only be able to achieve deep work if you are willing to put the effort to eliminate all distractions that surround you during work. 
  • This could be a place, time or both. Put maximum effort into finding an environment that allows you to perform the deepest work.


2. Embrace Boredom:

  • We are tempted to make you of the internet to fulfil our urge for distractions. Restrict yourself from it. Over time you will develop resistance to such urges.
  • Learn to meditate. Train your brain to focus more especially mentally. This will sharper concentration.


3. Quit Social Media:

  • If it doesn't help you in any way, leave it. If it supports your task, make use of it. Keep a note on how you spend time on social media.
  • You can't achieve deep work while constantly having the desire to hop on socials.

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