Book Review - Deep Work

Posted on 2016-04-17

I finished reading Cal Newport’s book, “Deep work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World”. The subtitle is indicative of what the book is about. The books starts with a few case studies of people who have left their mark in the world and their working style and develop a bit of vocabulary. The author then classifies two types of activities that one may call as work - “Deep work” and “shallow work”, deep work being something that leaves a lasting impact like writing a paper that explains a new way of doing something or a new music composition or work that produces value to customers, depending on one’s profession. Shallow work is the peripheral things one does in the day, which may or may not be connected to the main work. This can be chatting with other co-workers over coffee, reading/writing email, browsing social networking websites or other seemingly important websites (like hacker news or reddit for programmers..). He also talks about his own quest for deep work, producing more output and at the same time working not beyond 5pm on the work days.

I didn’t make detailed notes while reading the book. But these are some points I recall.

Overall, I liked the book a lot and hope to put at least some of the ideas in the book to practice.