June 09, 2016
‘The best book I read last month’ entry for April 2016 is Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport.
This is one book I have been looking forward to reading. And I read it at a right time for me (well, to be honest, whenever you read this book, will be the right time for you to read this book).
This book has the potential to be one the most important books shaping these years of my life. Potentially, because, it remains to be seen to what extent I can implement and then sustain at least some of its recommendations.
To be honest, the recommendations, those that resonated with me are simple. But we all know, simple doesn’t equate easy – especially when it comes to changing our ingrained behaviors …
So, why should you read this book?
This book will benefit you, it has the potential to change your life too, if
Cal starts off with defining what deep work is: “Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.”
He explains why deep work is important, and how it is similar to deliberate work. Reading this part of the book was preaching to the choir. I already know, and am struggling with the debilitating disease of distraction, and suffering the consequences of not working deep.
The next part was very interesting – something I had not come across before. Cal explains about the 4 philosophies of deep work: Monastic, Bimodal, Rhythmic and Journalistic. This was an eye-opener. I always thought the Monastic way was the only way to work deeply and definitely out of my reach to implement. And the Journalistic way needs much more discipline than I possess currently. I decided that Rythmic makes most sense currently, but Bimodal seems to be just right – experimentation will tell.
Cal gives us a bunch of tricks and tips – which are very easy to understand, whose implementation can be planned easily, but whose implementation brings you in contact with piggy mind rolling around in the muck of busy work and distraction. And you see this, your own dirty restless piddy mind, with sorrow and horror and helplessness.
Anyway, Cal mentions a bunch of techniques, exercises to develop deep work. Some of these resonated with me, and I am trying to implement them:
Apply the 4DX framework for my personal use
And the mind-rest part. Of course we need to rest our brain muscle after this kind of discpline and effort right?
Well, these are my highlights. I am sure, once you read the book, your set of highlights might be quite different.
So, who is this book really for? It is for those of us in the quest of understanding ourselves better, and making ourselves better so we can be and do better at what we really love without expending extra time, and at the same time, having more time to enjoy with our families and for our hobbies. Yes, for those of us on the quest of the holy grail of productivity and presence.
Highly, highly recommended.
On Amazon (Kindle EBook / Hardcover / Paperback) – Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
Public Library – Check here to see if Deep Work is available in your public library.
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