Deep Work - Cal Newport
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Deep Work - Cal Newport
About the Book
Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Grand Central Publishing
Cal Newport, Ph.D., lives in Washington, DC, where he is a writer and an assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University.
He also runs the popular website Study Hacks: Decoding Patterns of Success.
Get it on Amazon
Multitasking Does Not Equal Productivity.
When we switch from task A to task B, our attention remains on task A, which means we can only half-focus on task B
Similarly, electronic notifications have a detrimental effect on our productivity
It may seem harmless to keep our social media tabs open all the time while we work...
But merely seeing notifications pop up interrupt our focus, even if we ignore them for a while before checking on them
Workers feel like they're working more than ever
That's because completing small tasks and moving information around makes us feel like we've accomplished something
But in reality, these things just keep us from truly focusing on important work
How to Achieve Deep Work
This includes eliminating all sources of distraction and secluding yourself like a monk
This involves setting a clearly defined, long period of seclusion for work and leaving the rest of your time free for everything else
Doing deep work for blocks of 90 minutes and using a calendar to track your accomplishments
Involves taking any unexpected free time in your daily routine to do deep work
The Difference Between Being "in the Zone" and Deep Work
In the Zone
We often get in the zone by chance
Often only after hours of procrastination
Is intentional, methodical
It's essential to have rituals to prepare your mind for it
e.g. placing a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on your desk, or going to a library to work
How to Rewire Your Brain with Productive Meditation
Our brains are wired to be easily distracted, which is why we find it hard to focus on one task
To rewire your brain, use moments that would otherwise be spent unproductive to consider a problem you need to take care of without letting your mind change subjects
e.g. while you walk the dog or during your commute to work
To get started, ask yourself questions that identify different issues in solving a given problem
Once you've landed a specific target, ask yourself: "What do I need to accomplish my goal?"
How to Restore Your Energy
Scheduling both work and free time is essential to restoring your energy
By scheduling everything you do, you'll free up time for being mindful of how you spend it
At the beginning of every day, create a schedule with 30-minute blocks and schedule everything from 'dinner' to 'reading'
It's ok to modify your schedule if things change; the important part is to cultivate awareness of how you spend your day