Deep Work by Cal Newport


  • People are becoming less capable of deep work and spending less time on it as the years pass.
  • Deep Work is becoming more valuable than in years past (knowledge work generally).
  • Deep Work requires concentration which is a skill you have to train over time.
  • If you don’t deliberately schedule time for deep work you will inevitably spend very little time on it as you dance to the tune of other people and the pursuit of distraction.

  • Deep Work lifestyle options:

    1. Monastic (minimize distraction as much as possible throughout your life. All in.)
    2. Bimodal (long periods of deep work I.e. months, then none for a while)
    3. Rhythmic (few hours each morning, for example)
    4. Journalistic (fit it into your schedule whenever you can)
  • Four disciplines of execution

    1. Focus on the wildly important
    2. Act on the lead measures
    3. Keep a compelling scoreboard
    4. Create a cadence of accountability
  • You have to make room for evening downtime. It aids insight.

  • Work hard to make your email the last one in the chain with something like “and no need to respond if…”

  • Develop the habit of letting small bad things happen. If you don’t, then you won’t make room for the big good things.

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