Book Review: Deep Work – Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Just finished reading Deep Work, a great argument on today's overwhelming need for constant amusement and distraction.

More importantly, this book explains how you can identify distractions, avoid them and get on with doing deep meaningful work...

Oh yes...

There is hope...

Sinking Deeper, Ever So Deeper

The author Cal Newport offers many arguments and examples of how, as a society, we are becoming less able to focus, complete tasks and crave amusing distractions to take our minds off of how boring everything is...

I tend to agree with his points, in fact, as a programmer, I get hired to create shiny distracting time sucking mobile apps and social platforms that waste time while in fact making you believe they create value in your life...

Crazy right?

If you look at the big picture, society as a whole is getting ever so more dependent on instant gratification...

Check twitter... blah...

Check facebook... like... like... zzzz...

Check email... spam...

Play mobile game... out of coins... more ads...

Watch tv... 1000's of channels... nothing on...

Election Day... hahaha vote... wait, who won?

How To Win And Keep Winning

By far my biggest take away from this book came towards the end when Cal describes a process called the 4DX ( Four Disciplines of Execution )...

Without going to deep and off track, here is the one piece of the puzzle that energized me and made me even more focused...

When making goals, I tended to track success for projects with metrics, such as Clicky, more traffic, conversions, mean I am successful...

Right? WRONG!

The problem with that focus is that the metrics are after the fact, meaning they are a result, in the past, that I can do nothing about...

Still with me?

So instead of setting up goals and focusing on results that happen long after, like a purchase or a subscription...

I shifted my focus on doing work that causes the purchase or subscription...

The purchases and subscription will happen BECAUSE I work on what causes the purchase or subscription...

Like, creating value, adding features, fixing code, creating new products, etc...

Did I lose you?

A Quick Example

Imagine you want to lose weight...

Most people will get a scale, buy gym clothes, buy diet food, etc...

Then the focus on the scale, it didn't go down, but you bought all the fancy crap and a gym pass...

What gives?

If your success is based on what you see on the scale, you are essentially looking in the past, you can do nothing about it, it's a reading of your recent past ( could also be water weight, undigested food, but you still get all depressed, I digress )...

Imagine we switch things up...

If your success is measured by getting to the gym three to five days a week, the scale will show you the positive results you are looking for...

Losing weight and the downward trend on the scale will be a byproduct of your focused daily work...

Deep Work Works

If you feel the need to get a grip on your life and find simple yet effective examples of how to do deep meaningful work, then you need to read this book...

Deep Work is about learning to identify the distractions in your life, unapologetically set a HUGE goal for yourself and tell everyone to take a long walk off a short pier so that you can set time aside to enjoy deep thoughts and do meaningful work to move towards your life goals.

Go get a copy of Deep Work, you will love it...

Post your questions below...

HTH
😉

one comment ( awaiting your reply! )

  • I LOVE this idea! What a GREAT article. If you line up who you are being with your commitments, you will always, eventually produce the results you want. This forward-looking mentality is genius!

    -- Beth Gilmore