Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Author: Cal Newport
All Hacker News 8
This Year Hacker News 6
This Month Hacker News 1

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World


Review Date:


by sgdread   2018-11-10
There is another great book written by Cal: Deep Work [1].

Don't follow your passion. Instead, become really good at something. Apply methodical approach to improve your craft skills. Once you got mastery, you might actually like it.


edit: formatting

by jonathanfoster   2018-11-10
The author references Cal Newport's Deep Work [1]. I recently read this book and I can't recommend it enough. It's not just a productivity fluff piece about the importance of focus. He brings an academic rigor to the debate and backs up his claims with legitimate evidence. Best of all, the book is not just theory, it's 100% actionable.

I used Newport's recommendations to reclaim 4+ solid hours of deep focus and it's had a tremendous impact on my productivity and general quality of life.

Here are a few strategies I found successful:

* Create a TODO list each day and separate tasks into shallow and deep categories

* Block off each hour of the day and and fill it with one of the TODO items

* Restrict shallow work to 2 hours (after 2 hours, say no to everything shallow)

* Create a scorecard and track the number of deep hours each day (this number should increase)

* Experiment with Newport's recommendations for two weeks and see which ones increase your deep hours

* Become comfortable saying no


by Omnius   2018-10-21
You should read "Deep Work" i found it very enlightening and have put a lot of it into practice to make sure i have time for deep and creative work.

by thisisananth   2018-08-06
I was addicted to browsing during my work. I knew I was wasting my time and it is not helping. I would resolve to not so it again. Then slowly I would fall back into my old ways. What helped was realizing that it is easy to do something 100% of the time than 95% of the time. Previously rationalized when I was getting distracted by telling myself it is just for 5 mins which inevitably resulted in more rationalising and realizing only after an hour. Now when I get distracted and realize it, I just stop it there and then and get back to work. I also made some changes like having specific internet time and strictly avoiding it during other time also helped. Read the book deep work by Cal Newport. It has these and various other ways to focus more.
by jawns   2018-02-27
One step is to acknowledge that you're not supposed to be good at task switching. It takes a negative toll on everybody. Our brains just aren't very good at it. Because of this, your employer, if you have one, should take steps to minimize the amount of task switching required, or at least try to give you blocks of time you can dedicate to focused tasks.

That said, task switching is a practical reality, so coping strategies are important, too.

For help with that, check out Cal Newport's "Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World" ( Full disclosure: He and I share a literary agent.

by yuribro   2017-12-25
Cal Newport - Deep Work

While following the advice in the book did push my productivity up, sadly I didn't manage to keep up those habits. But it does appear to work, just need to make the right adjustments to make it easier to follow.

by antoaravinth   2017-11-25
Yes, that precisely what I wanted to say. For newbies, I would recommend to read this fantastic book on Deep work [1]


by markdog12   2017-10-09
Loved the book and highly recommend, especially to hn crowd.

by beat   2017-09-04
For those interested in managing online time and getting ourselves offline regularly, the book Deep Work, by Cal Newport, has some very useful ideas. One that I plan to start experimenting with is the idea of scheduled internet access - allow yourself to get online only at certain times of day. This isn't just for work. Even if you're, say, standing in line at the grocery store, you don't get to pull your phone out and check your email.

As the author points out, we've forgotten how to be bored. We need to learn to engage that part of our brain again.

by curiousgeek   2017-08-20
Author and computer science professor Cal Newport has written about the benefits of working on very cognitively demanding tasks in a mode of no interruptions or distractions, and progressively building the mental muscle to operate in such a mode.

He calls this "deep work" and has written about it in detail in his 2016 book of the same name: . He emphasizes the increasing importance of such work in the knowledge economy.

Are there any companies or startups that allow their employees to work in this manner? Has this led to a different way of identifying tasks, structuring them and setting up the work environment?