Read the Wall Street Journal Bestseller for "cultivating intense focus" for fast, powerful performance results for achieving success and true meaning in one's professional life (Adam Grant, author of Give and Take).
Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep Work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there's a better way.
In Deep Work, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four "rules," for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.
1. Work Deeply
2. Embrace Boredom
3. Quit Social Media
4. Drain the Shallows
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 no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. Deep Work is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.
An Amazon Best Book of 2016 Pick in Business & Leadership
Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller
A Business Book of the Week at 800-CEO-READ
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I decided to make the goal of finishing this book while on vacation after hearing so many great things. It certainly didn’t disappoint.
I now have the appropriate mindset of taking my mindshare back (think social media and distractions) that gives me that deep, slightly disturbing feeling that leaving these distracting habits behind is what will propel me forward in the things I wanted to do.
Without going too specific, if you seek what I seek, (control of your mind, time, and space) the chance to do work that you’ll be proud of when your time’s up, don’t waste it. Start by reading it here.
Good Reminder. Wish book was more concise.
Certainly a good reminder of why depth in work matters. Book was only average in insights and riddled with personal stories. Main points could be written in 20 pages or so. In fact, reading all the words in this book would be classified as “shallow work”.
Definitely study this book—it will make a big difference in your life.
I listen to a lot of self-improvement books. I judge the value of a book by how much it helps me make powerful, positive changes for good in my life. I can honestly say that this book has been by far the best book in that regard. I work in a professional services industry where the concept of “deep work” is often considered something that “computer” people do. By employing the principles detailed in this book I have been able to make some amazing progress on one particular project which is enabling me to really stand out nationwide in the niche area in which I specialize.
My practical advice to someone considering this book is to buy it and really pay attention to to the key ideas that Cal Newport discusses. Then, once you have the ideas in mind, really think about how they can apply to your particular situation. There are a lot of industries where people neglect the principles taught in this book. Those who do study these “deep work” concepts and focus on applying them will begin to see themselves standing out above their peers in new and impressive ways.
As a matter of full disclosure, this is not some paid review and I don’t know Cal Newport nor have any relationship with him (although I would like to meet him someday, shake his hand, and thank him for writing such a powerful book).