“Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.” Cal Newport
'Deep Work' by Cal Newport is a book about the science of productivity and a guide to how to increase our ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task in a distracted world.
Cal proposes that we have lost our ability to focus deeply and immerse ourselves in a complex task and argues the best way to get more meaningful work done is by working deeply – working in a state of high concentration without distractions on a single task.
The book covers many examples from real-world experiences and actionable items make implementing these ideas quite straightforward. It shows us how to cultivate this skill again and focus through five simple ideas/thoughts.
1. Commitment - In order to produce the absolute best stuff you’re capable of, you need to commit to deep work.
2. Mastery - The ability to quickly master hard things and the ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed, are two core abilities for thriving in today’s economy.
3. Focus - “To learn hard things quickly, you must focus intensely without distraction.”
4. Practise - “Your work is craft, and if you hone your ability and apply it with respect and care, then like the skilled wheelwright you can generate meaning in the daily efforts of your professional life.”
5. Action and habits - “The key to developing a deep work habit is to move beyond good intentions and add routines and rituals to your working life designed to minimize the amount of your limited willpower necessary to transition into and maintain a state of unbroken concentration.”
Deep Work by Cal Newport (YouTube summary)