Deep Work by Cal Newport
Deep Work: Yorkshire Powerhouse Score 7/10
Deep Work shames and then motivates to build the skill of high productivity in a world of interruptions.
Who will gain the most from reading this book?
Those of us who find the mass of e mail, social media and electronic input stops them getting useful work done.
It would be too simple to describe Deep Work as a guide to how to work more productively and avoid the pitfalls of constant interruption. Yes, the book does describe techniques for avoiding distraction and procrastination and they are powerful if utilised constantly.
The core premise is that the ability to concentrate and apply our minds to an opportunity or to a challenge is now so rare that, if we can build that skill, then we have become one of a special group.
It is also worth noting that this is not just about avoiding interruption. The author asserts that we concentrate so little in our flitting style of life that we have actually lost the ability to concentrate for the time required to achieve meaningful work. It it this concentration span itself that is a skill that needs to be relearned.
The author attempts to help us out in two major and additional ways that can help the reader actually use the techniques.
In the first instance he attempts to help us understand our own habits and weaknesses. By explaining exactly what’s going on in our heads when we allow ourselves to be distracted he allows us to understand our basic human frailty and to some degree shames us into demonstrating more discipline.
The book then moves on to explain how Deep Work undertaken with enthusiasm can really drive competitive advantage. The fact that so few people can achieve this state of high productivity means that everything is possible for those that can.
In truth, for a reader who is interested in the subject, and that is why they would have bought the book, Deep Work provides techniques and the motivation to move over from the dark side of being driven by technology to the light of using it to much better effect than those around them.
Could a Yorkshire perspective improve this book?
The book goes on a bit, the basic ideas of deep thinking and watching out for barriers to that is useful, other more prosaic ideas are over explained seemingly to fill out a decent sized book.
In Deep Work you’ll find great case studies/real life examples that will really make you question how much you browse aimlessly online. More importantly, you just might start to wonder what you’d be capable of if you just made the effort to embrace deep work, and retrain your brain to concentrate for longer periods of time.
It is embarrassing to read aspects of the book, particularly those that challenge you as to whether you are spending time and money being really efficient at things you ought not to be doing at all!
Have you any questions?
Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know: