I got a new book in the post yesterday and I read it yesterday too!
The weather has been in the 30s (Celsius) here in Yorkshire, and it has been too hot to even THINK about doing any Deep Work!
The book I got was called Deep Work by Cal Newport and is basically about cutting out all of the time wasting activities like answering e-mails etc. and focussing on spending a few hours a day on concentrated and productive work (Deep Work).
It’s a good read, he gives a lot of examples and the idea is pretty simple. I don’t think there is anything groundbreaking in the book, it all seems pretty obvious to me. Although, as in so many of these cases, what we know we should do or how to work, we never actually do, do we?! (I mean, we KNOW we should do more exercise and eat healthier food but do we actually?).
The section about switching off from Social Media I had to laugh at, because if anyone knows me, they’ll know that isn’t a huge area of my life, and I just don’t understand anyone who CAN’T turn off their mobile phone (the generation below me I guess!). So, I admit I skimmed through that chapter.
But finding a space for yourself, making it a productive space, focussing on what you’re doing and not all the time-sucks and tiny life admins…that I can get behind.
The examples are mostly academic ones, but the author is a Professor I believe. I would be an eternal student if I could, racking up the degrees in different universities if I had the money! I love the academic lifestyle – the library, the lessons, the lectures, note-taking, handing in assignments a month early (that’s not a random example, I actually did that twice at uni!).
I love the idea of writing a book in your own time and not running yourself into the ground doing it. I am about halfway through a book myself and I’ve been struggling to get back into it…so I might try the Deep Work approach and see if I can publish it in August.
I have to add though, that setting aside a few hours a day to do some really focussed and concentrated work is a good idea but only if you’re organised beforehand. So, with that in mind, I’m going to go through my planners and diaries, and all my odd bits of paper and sort them out and plan a couple of hours a day to work on my book.
It got to a point a few months ago when I was doing 15 pages a day at my fastest. I want to get back to that!
Below is an affiliate link to the book from Waterstones if you want to have a look yourself…
The idea of Deep Work is good, I felt it kind of stretched to fill the book, maybe that’s just me. I like the idea of working solidly without distractions.
I think I need to read this book again. And I will, in a little while.
As of late I have been struggling with productivity (and I don’t mean the last 4 or 5 days of this heatwave, because no-one wants to work hard in such high temperatures) and maybe with motivation too. After being unwell for a few weeks about 6 weeks ago, I sort of lost the plot a bit and have been finding it really difficult to get back into the swing of things.
Which is why I bought this book! To give me a push into thinking about what I’m doing and when. I have a few books like this on my shelf and now I’m inspired to re-read some of them again.
But I need to beware! Too much reading about being productive isn’t very productive is it?!
[This post contains affiliate links which means if you click the link and make a purchase, I get a small commission of that purchase at no extra cost to you!]
2 thoughts on “Deep Work”
It sounds like a good, thoughtful read. I agree with you tho, trying to do a Deep Work session and not being organized doesn’t really work (or at least it doesn’t for me). I find I have to clear distractions, close browsers if I’m on my computer and I will often set a timer too. The timer helps me not keep looking at the clock, and I don’t go for more than about 50-55 minutes, and then will take a 5-minute break if I know it’s going to be a long work session and that seems to help too!
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The timer is a good idea, I might have to steal that! I actually know the theories like task batching and time blocking and the Pomodoro Technique and all that…I just have trouble putting them into practice haha! I’ve read so much about being productive…and I’m the worst at it! 🙂