Deep Work by Cal Newport – Productivity Book Group

Productivity Book Group [ ] discussed Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World [ ] by Cal Newport.

Deep Work, as defined by Cal Newport is

Professional activities performed in a state of … concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.

In contrast, Newport identifies Shallow work as

[Cognitively undemanding], logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. These efforts tend to not create much value in the world and are easy to replicate.

Further, he then proposes a Deep Work Hypothesis:

The ability to perform Deep Work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.

Two core abilities for thriving in the new economy:

  1. The ability to quickly master hard things.
  2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.

He comes up with several other pseudo-principles and terminologies, including The Principle of Least Resistance and Busyness as Proxy for Productivity. So, that’s enough to give you a concept of what Deep Work is. Let’s get the conversation started with a basic argument of the veracity of Deep Work itself.

Do you agree with the author’s concepts of Deep Work and Shallow Work? And, his Deep Work Hypothesis? Was he able to convince you that Deep Work is vital to the present and burgeoning New Economy?

Cal Newport presents himself as particularly anti-Twitter. Why do you think he points out Twitter specifically and is he right about Social Media? Should you quit Social Media?

Let us know in the comments! Enjoy the discussion!

Our next reading selections are:

Paradox of Choice

One Year to an Organized Financial Life

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