Tidbits about Deep Work by Cal Newport That I Didn’t Get To

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Other important concepts Newport describes in Deep Work that you should absolutely about and I didn’t have time and space to go into when I talked about what deep work is and how it impacts my life:

  1. Related to the Craftsman Approach to Tool Selection, first list out the main goals you have for your personal and professional life. Then list out two or three activities you do to support these goals and consider whether network tools have a large positive impact, negative impact, or little impact on your ability to do these activities. (p191-196)

  2. The Law of the Vital Few or the 80/20 rule: “the most important 20 percent or so of activities can contribute to your achieving these goals” (p201) See how this intersects with the importance of stepping away from an any-benefit mentality? With regards to my social media dilemma, yes it is probably true that if I spent time each week promoting my posts across multiple channels, I would find a few more unique readers (i.e. there would be some benefit). And the question is with my limited time and deep work capacity, would this promotion be substantially more or less beneficial than spending this same amount of time developing deeper, more thoughtful, and more frequent essays?

  3. “Put more thought into your leisure time…don’t default to whatever catches your attention at the moment, but instead dedicate some advance thinking to [your leisure time]”. (p212) When I was little my Grandmother encouraged us to develop hobbies that used our hands. For those of us in knowledge work, who spend most work days working with our minds, there is something refreshing about the softer attention and concrete products of hobbies with our hands (like sewing or knitting, wood work, brewing, playing an instrument or painting).