When was the last time you sat focused on a single task with intense concentration for more than thirty minutes ? No, I am not talking about your morning chores!
I meant uninterrupted and cut-off from everything including your ubiquitous smart phones
The author persuades us to look at the new economy in a different way and he presents a case of how we can differentiate ourselves by focusing on ‘Deep Work’. He says that there will be two core abilities to thrive in the ‘New Economy’ and they are
- The ability to quickly master hard things
- The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed
He goes on to add
“This ability to learn hard things quickly, of course, isn’t just necessary for working well with intelligent machines; it also plays a key role in the attempt to become a superstar in just about any field—even those that have little to do with technology. To become a world class yoga instructor, for example, requires that you master an increasingly complex set of physical skills. To excel in a particular area of medicine, to give another example, requires that you be able to quickly master the latest research on relevant procedures. To summarize these observations more succinctly: If you can’t learn, you can’t thrive.
Now consider the second core ability from the list shown earlier: producing at an elite level. If you want to become a superstar, mastering the relevant skills is necessary but not sufficient. You must then transform the latent potential into tangible results that people value”
The author gives a roadmap with the necessary tools for us to cultivate deep work and gives us scientific evidences on personalities across all fields who have managed to jump into the elusive space of deep work.
The ideas given in the book are hard to cultivate, because it starts with a dangerous domain called self-discipline.
However, I find taking the baby steps mentioned in the book can yield quantifiable results.
I have an extended cut-off from all kind of electronic devices for a hour in all week days and for four hours on a Sunday and use that time to focus on doing something that matters to me. It may not strictly fall into the category of deep work, but I find myself more productive at those hours and progressing towards my set goals faster.
In an increasingly attention scarce world that we are drawn towards, this book comes across as something that we should reflect upon and possibly use to course correct.
“A deep life is a good life.”
Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)