Deep Work

  • by Cal Newport
  • Narrated by Jeff Bottoms
  • 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of the most valuable skills in our economy is becoming increasingly rare. If you master this skill, you'll achieve extraordinary results.
Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a superpower in our increasingly competitive 21st-century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep - spending their days instead in a frantic blur of email and social media, not even realizing there's a better way.
In Deep Work, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four "rules", for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.
A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, Deep Work takes the listener on a journey through memorable stories - from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business-class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air - and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. Deep Work is an indispensable guide for anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.

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What the Critics Say

"This book changed my mind. It has moved me from 'find your passion, so that you can be useful' to 'be useful so that you can find your passion.' That is a big flip, but it's more honest, and that is why I am giving each of my three young adult children a copy of this unorthodox guide." (Kevin Kelly, senior maverick, WIRED magazine)
"'Do what you love and the money will follow' sounds like great advice - until it's time to get a job and disillusionment quickly sets in. Cal Newport ably demonstrates how the quest for 'passion' can corrode job satisfaction. If all he accomplished with this book was to turn conventional wisdom on its head, that would be interesting enough. But he goes further - offering advice and examples that will help you bypass the disillusionment and get right to work building skills that matter." (Daniel H. Pink, best-selling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind)
"Entrepreneurial professionals must develop a competitive advantage by building valuable skills. This book offers advice based on research and reality - not meaningless platitudes - on how to invest in yourself in order to stand out from the crowd. An important guide to starting up a remarkable career." (Reid Hoffman, cofounder and chairman of LinkedIn and coauthor of the best-selling The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Formulaic Self Help

This is another book in the Formulaic Self Help Genre. The formula is: Propose an idea that everyone already agrees with, and take it to an extreme, then reference a handful of rich and famous people and claim they sort of follow your extreme proposal, then give a multistep program to implement your proposal in the reader's life.

Most books in this genre have the same weakness, they fail to point out that most people that follow their program are not rich or famous. Such books also don't discuss the many other rich and famous people who do the exact opposite of the proposed method, yet achieve greatness.

In this case, Deep Work is focusing and avoiding distractions while working. Good advice. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that have great focus and avoid distractions while working but don't achieve greatness, because they are focusing quite deeply on the wrong thing. There are also a lot of people who create best with many people working together in a dynamic and distracting environment. Some with rock music, others with 10 screens of continuous data.

I am an introvert and don't engage in social media (never read or sent a tweet, check facebook about 3 times/yearm very limited email). I think the advice given would work pretty well for introverts, I am not so sure about this working for other personality types and work styles.

If you are an introvert with a social media addiction, this book may be helpful to you.
For me it was not worth my time.

The narration was OK for a self help book.
The PDF is basically just a list of references.
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- Michael

Taking a stance!

A great productivity book that takes a stance and offers concrete steps you can follow, to be more productive. *Productive* as in *increased creative output* – not "productive" as in David Allen's GTD, where productivity largely means "crankin' widgets and emptying your inbox" – a surefire system to "get busy – and *stay* busy – while feeling productive".

I recommend Cal's book to anyone entrapped in social media and/or email and IM. Especially those who're doing creative work like writing, artistic endeavours, innovation, etc.

If that's you, this book will set you free, unleashing your creative work, by giving it the space, time, energy and *respect* (from yourself) that it rightly deserves – and *needs* in order to thrive, evolve, grow, and be *shared* with the world, in a format that is *usefu*l to other people.

Drafts and ideas on your laptop is just that: drafts and ideas. To turn that raw material (of genius maybe) into something real and concrete: takes deep work. It is the *difficult* part. The crucial, tedious 80% of the creation process. Doing deep work requires dedicated time, space and energy. And taking a stance – respecting *yourself* and *your work* enough. To *do* the work. Your *deep* work.
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- Oliver Nielsen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-05-2016
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio