Deep Work (Amazon link) is one of those books that you read because everyone seems to be talking about it, and even though I may be late to reading it, if it’s the first time you’re hearing about it, that’s great. It’s a good one. In the book, Cal explores how we can find moments of time when we get in deep focus mode, or the “flow state of mind,” when we are the most productive, the most creative, and the most focused. This can be easier when you have time and lock yourself away, such as in a hotel room (both JK Rowling and Bill Gates were known to do this), but when you have a family, or a job, or other “distractions” in your life, it can seem nearly impossible. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
But Cal Newport is a busy man, a family man, and he can focus enough to write these best-selling books. Deep Work is about how he’s managed to do that, with amazing insights into how you can do it too. Cal has really created a formula for getting work done in a busy world.
One aspect of the book I liked particularly is the part where he made the distinction between what he calls “shallow work” and “deep work.” Shallow work is low-priority work with low-payoff that we often tend to do more of, as opposed to the deep work that has a higher payout, and he shares with us how to identify these kinds of work so we can make sure we do what matters and continue to move the needle.
In addition to the insight into finding deep work, Cal also shares how you can actually use deep work to your advantage. Learning the right things, and applying them to build up your “career capital,” as he says, will help you get further ahead, and that was a nice surprise to find in the book.
But wait, there are more gems in this book. You know how scheduling your tasks is a pretty powerful and effective thing for your business? Well, in Deep Work, Cal adds to that concept by actually adding distractions to his scheduling. That is super fascinating to me. He says that one of the primary ways to enter deep work is to schedule distractions. To me, it’s more like a reward, but in the overall plan it’s more like a way to just have time to do those things so that you don’t do them when you’re not supposed to.
If you find any of that even slightly interesting, you’ll really learn a lot by reading Deep Work. It’s pretty profound, but also very applicable and practical for your growth—in business and in your personal life. Anyone who lives in a world that seems too busy to get work done needs to read this book. Period.Buy the Book on Amazon