One of the most valuable skills in our economy is becoming increasingly rare. If you master this skill, you'll achieve extraordinary results.
Deep Work is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.
'Deep work' is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. Coined by author and professor Cal Newport on his popular blog Study Hacks, deep work will make you better at what you do, let you achieve more in less time and provide the sense of true fulfilment that comes from the mastery of a skill. In short, deep work is like a superpower in our increasingly competitive economy.
And yet most people, whether knowledge workers in noisy open-plan offices or creatives struggling to sharpen their vision, have lost the ability to go deep - spending their days instead in a frantic blur of email and social media, not even realising there's a better way.
A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, DEEP WORK takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories -- from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air -- and surprising suggestions, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored.
Put simply: developing and cultivating a deep work practice is one of the best decisions you can make in an increasingly distracted world and this book will point the way.
In this strong self-help book, Newport (So Good They Can't Ignore You) declares that the habits of modern professionals checking email at all hours, rushing from meeting to meeting, and valuing multitasking above all else only stand in the way of truly valuable work. According to him, everyone should practice deep work: "professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit." Newport calls on psychology and neuroscience, as well as common sense, to back up his recommendations. As to why people don't already work this way, he implicates a cultural narrative that stresses activity over concentration and that encourages workers to follow the path of least resistance. Newport encourages readers to take breaks from technology, recharge with downtime, leave social media, and reply to emails more purposefully. It's tempting to blow off the message as the complaints of an admitted non-technophile, but Newport's disarming self-awareness "Deep work is not some nostalgic affectation of writers and early-20th-century philosophers" and emphasis on a meaningful work practice that's "rich with productivity and meaning" makes for an excellent lesson in focusing on quality rather than quantity at work.