Progressive Summary of Deep Work by Cal Newport

darkzerothree

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The Method used here is by Tiago Forte.
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Summary

Definitions
Deep Work
Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. Create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.
Necessary to wring every last drop of value out of your current intellectual capacity.
Shallow Work
Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. Doesn't create much new value in the world and is easy to replicate.
You need both!
Minimize the shallow while making sure to get the most out of the time this frees up.
High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)
With influential figures throughout history a commitment to deep work is a common theme.
Deep work in the modern world
Modern work environments and networking tools fragment our attention into tiny slivers
Deep Work Hypothesis: The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.
Two Core Abilities for Thriving in the New Economy
  1. The ability to quickly master hard things.
  1. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.

The differences between expert performers and normal adults reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain. (Ericsson)
To learn is an act of deep work.
Deliberate practice
  • Your attention is focused tightly on a specific skill you’re trying to improve or an idea you’re trying to master;
  • You receive feedback so you can correct your approach to keep your attention exactly where it’s most productive.
To learn hard things quickly, you must focus intensely without distraction.
Craftsmanship
To build your working life around the experience of flow produced by deep work is a proven path to deep satisfaction.
Potential for craftsmanship can be found in most skilled jobs in the information economy.
Your work is craft, and if you hone your ability and apply it with respect and care, then like the skilled wheelwright you can generate meaning in the daily efforts of your professional life.
Ritualize
“Great creative minds think like artists but work like accountants.”
  • Where you’ll work and for how long.
  • How you’ll work once you start to work.
  • How you’ll support your work.
Disciplines
Discipline #1: Focus on the Wildly Important
Discipline #2: Act on the Lead Measures
Discipline #3: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
Discipline #4: Create a Cadence of Accountability
How to think deeply
“Thinking deeply” about a problem seems like a self-evident activity, but in reality it’s not. When faced with a distraction-free mental landscape, a hard problem, and time to think, the next steps can become surprisingly non-obvious.
  • starting with a careful review of the relevant variables
  • define the specific next-step question you need to answer using these variables.
  • consolidate your gains by reviewing clearly the answer you identified.
Selecting your tools
Networking tools are not inherently evil, some of them might be quite vital to your success and happiness.
Any-Benefit Approach to Network Tool Selection:
You’re justified in using a network tool if you can identify any possible benefit to its use, or anything you might possibly miss out on if you don’t use it.
Craftsman Approach to Tool Selection:
Identify the core factors that determine success and happiness in your professional and personal life. Adopt a tool only if its positive impacts on these factors substantially outweigh its negative impacts.
  • identify the main high-level goals in both your professional and your personal life.
  • list for each the two or three most important activities that help you satisfy the goal.
  • Does the tool have a substantially positive impact, a substantially negative impact, or little impact on your regular and successful participation in the activity?

Schedule Every Minute of Your Day
  • We spend much of our day on autopilot
  • Very few people work even 8 hours a day.
  • use of overflow conditional blocks.
Put more thought into your leisure time.

Become Hard to Reach
Sender Filter - Make People Who Send You E-mail Do More Work
Do More Work When You Send or Reply to E-mails - Process centric emails

What is the project represented by this message, and what is the most efficient process for bringing this project to a successful conclusion?
replace a quick response with one that takes the time to describe the process you identified, points out the current step, and emphasizes the step that comes next.
minimize both the number of e-mails you receive and the amount of mental clutter they generate.
Process-centric e-mails might not seem natural at first. They require that you spend more time thinking about your messages before you compose them. the extra two to three minutes you spend at this point will save you many more minutes reading and responding to unnecessary extra messages later.
Can seem stilted and overly technical.
Don’t Respond - Professorial E-mail Sorting
Do not reply if
If it’s ambiguous or otherwise makes it hard for you to generate a reasonable response.
It’s not a question or proposal that interests you.
Nothing really good would happen if you did respond and nothing really bad would happen if you didn’t.


Notes

Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.
Deep work is necessary to wring every last drop of value out of your current intellectual capacity.

Jung’s regular journeys to Bollingen reduced the time he spent on his clinical work, noting, “Although he had many patients who relied on him, Jung was not shy about taking time off.” Deep work, though a burden to prioritize, was crucial for his goal of changing the world.
In the lives of other influential figures from both distant and recent history, you’ll find that a commitment to deep work is a common theme.
Microsoft CEO Bill Gates famously conducted “Think Weeks” twice a year, during which he would isolate himself (often in a lakeside cottage) to do nothing but read and think big thoughts.
The ubiquity of deep work among influential individuals is important to emphasize because it stands in sharp contrast to the behavior of most modern knowledge workers—a group that’s rapidly forgetting the value of going deep.
The reason knowledge workers are losing their familiarity with deep work is well established: network tools. This is a broad category that captures communication services like e-mail and SMS, social media networks like Twitter and Facebook, and the shiny tangle of infotainment sites like BuzzFeed and Reddit.
Fragmented most knowledge workers’ attention into slivers. A 2012 McKinsey study found that the average knowledge worker now spends more than 60 percent of the workweek engaged in electronic communication and Internet searching, with close to 30 percent of a worker’s time dedicated to reading and answering e-mail alone.
Fragmented attention cannot accommodate deep work, which requires long periods of uninterrupted thinking.

Shallow Work: Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted.
These efforts tend not to create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.

In an age of network tools, in other words, knowledge workers increasingly replace deep work with the shallow alternative—constantly sending and receiving e-mail messages like human network routers, with frequent breaks for quick hits of distraction.
Larger efforts that would be well served by deep thinking, such as forming a new business strategy or writing an important grant application, get fragmented into distracted dashes that produce muted quality.
Our work culture’s shift toward the shallow (whether you think it’s philosophically good or bad) is exposing a massive economic and personal opportunity for the few who recognize the potential of resisting this trend and prioritizing depth—an
Digital network revolution cut both ways.
If you can create something useful, its reachable audience (e.g., employers or customers) is essentially limitless—which greatly magnifies your reward.
On the other hand, if what you’re producing is mediocre, then you’re in trouble, as it’s too easy for your audience to find a better alternative online.

A crucial ability for anyone looking to move ahead in a globally competitive information economy that tends to chew up and spit out those who aren’t earning their keep.


The Deep Work Hypothesis: The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.

You need both
Minimize the shallow
while making sure to get the most out of the time this frees up.


Build my days around a core of carefully chosen deep work, with the shallow activities I absolutely cannot avoid batched into smaller bursts at the peripheries of my schedule. Three to four hours a day, five days a week, of uninterrupted and carefully directed concentration, it turns out, can produce a lot of valuable output.
Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, who in their influential 2011 book, Race Against the Machine
,
We are in the early throes of a Great Restructuring,” Brynjolfsson and McAfee explain early in their book. “Our technologies are racing ahead but many of our skills and organizations are lagging behind.
And when only a human will do, improvements in communications and collaboration technology are making remote work easier than ever before, motivating companies to outsource key roles to stars—leaving the local talent pool underemployed.
Tyler Cowen published "Average Is Over"
Tyler Cowen summarizes this reality more bluntly: “The key question will be: are you good at working with intelligent machines or not?
three groups will have a particular advantage: those who can work well and creatively with intelligent machines,
those who are the best at what they do,
and those with access to capital.
Two Core Abilities for Thriving in the New Economy:
  1. The ability to quickly master hard things.
  1. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed. mastering the relevant skills is necessary, but not sufficient. push his current skills to their limit and produce unambiguously valuable and concrete results.

depend on your ability to perform deep work.
The differences between expert performers and normal adults reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain.”

deliberate practice core components:
(1) your attention is focused tightly on a specific skill you’re trying to improve or an idea you’re trying to master;
(2) you receive feedback so you can correct your approach to keep your attention exactly where it’s most productive.
To learn hard things quickly, you must focus intensely without distraction.
To learn, in other words, is an act of deep work.
Adam Grant book titled Give and Take,
The batching of hard but important intellectual work into long, uninterrupted stretches.
law of productivity: High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)
once you got to a high enough level, it was more common to find people working on multiple projects sequentially: “Going from one meeting to the next, starting to work on one project and soon after having to transition to another is just part of life in organizations,” Leroy explains.
when you switch from some Task A to another Task B, your attention doesn’t immediately follow—a residue of your attention remains stuck thinking about the original task. This residue gets especially thick if your work on Task A was unbounded and of low intensity before you switched, success without depth is common at this elite level of management.
A good chief executive is essentially a hard-to-automate decision engine
,
The fact that Dorsey encourages interruption or Kerry Trainor checks his e-mail constantly doesn’t mean that you’ll share their success if you follow suit: Their behaviors are characteristic of their specific roles as corporate officers.
Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, is an expert on the science of attention fragmentation. In a well-cited study, Mark and her co-authors observed knowledge workers in real offices and found that an interruption, even if short, delays the total time required to complete a task by a significant fraction. “This was reported by subjects as being very detrimental,” she summarized with typical academic understatement.
Tom Cochran

The enabling assumption driving his argument is that “it is objectively difficult to measure individual contributions to a firm’s output.
When it comes to distracting behaviors embraced in the workplace, we must give a position of dominance to the now ubiquitous culture of connectivity, where one is expected to read and respond to e-mails (and related communication) quickly.
The Principle of Least Resistance: In a business setting, without clear feedback on the impact of various behaviors to the bottom line, we will tend toward behaviors that are easiest in the moment.
Extremely important for knowledge workers, as "a big part of knowledge work is defining your work "
Also consider the frustratingly common practice of forwarding an e-mail to one or more colleagues, labeled with a short open-ended interrogative, such as: “Thoughts?” These e-mails take the sender only a handful of seconds to write but can command many minutes (if not hours, in some cases) of time and attention from their recipients to work toward a coherent response.
Busyness as Proxy for Productivity: In the absence of clear indicators of what it means to be productive and valuable in their jobs, many knowledge workers turn back toward an industrial indicator of productivity: doing lots of stuff in a visible manner.
Business valuePoints

If you’re not visibly busy,” she signaled, “I’ll assume you’re not productive.”

Here’s the social critic Matthew Crawford’s description of this uncertainty: “Managers themselves inhabit a bewildering psychic landscape, and are made anxious by the vague imperatives they must answer to.”

As Crawford describes in his 2009 ode to the trades, Shop Class as Soulcraft, he quit his job as a Washington, D.C, think tank director to open a motorcycle repair shop exactly to escape this bewilderment. The feeling of taking a broken machine, struggling with it, then eventually enjoying a tangible indication that he had succeeded (the bike driving out of the shop under its own power) provides a concrete sense of accomplishment he struggled to replicate when his day revolved vaguely around reports and communications strategies.
A similar reality creates problems for many knowledge workers. They want to prove that they’reproductive members of the team and are earning their keep, but they’re not entirely clear what this goal constitutes
.
Deep work is at a severe disadvantage in a technopoly because it builds on values like quality, craftsmanship, and mastery that are decidedly old-fashioned and nontechnological.
Even worse, to support deep work often requires the rejection of much of what is new and high-tech.
This connection between deep work and a good life is familiar and widely accepted when considering the world of craftsmen. But when we shift our attention to knowledge work this connection is muddied.
Craftsmen like Furrer tackle professional challenges that are simple to define but difficult to execute—a useful imbalance when seeking purpose. Knowledge work exchanges this clarity for ambiguity.
As Gallagher summarizes: “Who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love—is the sum of what you focus on.
To build your working life around the experience of flow produced by deep work is a proven path to deep satisfaction.
Potential for craftsmanship can be found in most skilled jobs in the information economy.
Whether you’re a writer, marketer, consultant, or lawyer: Your work is craft, and if you hone your ability and apply it with respect and care, then like the skilled wheelwright you can generate meaning in the daily efforts of your professional life.

A wooden wheel is not noble, but its shaping can be. The same applies to knowledge work. You don’t need a rarified job; you need instead a rarified approach to your work.


Soon after I met David Dewane for a drink at a Dupont Circle bar, he brought up the Eudaimonia Machine. Dewane is an architecture professor, and therefore likes to explore the intersection between the conceptual and the concrete. The Eudaimonia Machine is a good example of this intersection.
The machine, which takes its name from the ancient Greek concept of eudaimonia (a state in which you’re achieving your full human potential), turns out to be a building. “The goal of the machine,” David explained, “is to create a setting where the users can get into a state of deep human flourishing—creating work that’s at the absolute extent of their personal abilities.” It is, in other words, a space designed for the sole purpose of enabling the deepest possible deep work. I was, as you might expect, intrigued.
As Dewane explained the machine to me, he grabbed a pen to sketch its proposed layout. The structure is a one-story narrow rectangle made up of five rooms, placed in a line, one after another. There’s no shared hallway: you have to pass through one room to get to the next. As Dewane explains, “[The lack of circulation] is critical because it doesn’t allow you to bypass any of the spaces as you get deeper into the machine.” The first room you enter when coming off the street is called the gallery. In Dewane’s plan, this room would contain examples of deep work produced in the building. It’s meant to inspire users of the machine, creating a “culture of healthy stress and peer pressure.” As you leave the gallery, you next enter the salon. Here, Dewane imagines access to high-quality coffee and perhaps even a full bar. There are also couches and Wi-Fi. The salon is designed to create a mood that “hovers between intense curiosity and argumentation.” This is a place to debate, “brood,” and in general work through the ideas that you’ll develop deeper in the machine. Beyond the salon, you enter the library. This room stores a permanent record of all work produced in the machine, as well as the books and other resources used in this previous work. There will be copiers and scanners for gathering and collecting the information you need for your project. Dewane describes the library as “the hard drive of the machine.” The next room is the office space. It contains a standard conference room with a whiteboard and some cubicles with desks.The office,” Dewane explains, “is for low-intensity activity.” To use our terminology, this is the space to complete the shallow efforts required by your project. Dewane imagines an administrator with a desk in the office who could help its users improve their work habits to optimize their efficiency. This brings us to the final room of the machine, a collection of what Dewane calls “deep work chambers” (he adopted the term “deep work” from my articles on the topic). Each chamber is conceived to be six by ten feet and protected by thick soundproof walls (Dewane’s plans call for eighteen inches of insulation). “The purpose of the deep work chamber is to allow for total focus and uninterrupted workflow, He imagines a process in which you spend ninety minutes inside, take a ninety-minute break, and repeat two or three times—at which point your brain will have achieved its limit of concentration for the day.


People fight desires all day long. As Baumeister summarized: “Desire turned out to be the norm, not the exception.”
The five most common desires these subjects fought include, not surprisingly, eating, sleeping, and sex. But the top five list also included desires for “taking a break from [hard] work … checking e-mail and social networking sites, surfing the web, listening to music, or watching television.The lure of the Internet and television proved especially strong: The subjects succeeded in resisting these particularly addictive distractions only around half the time.
You need your own philosophy for integrating deep work into your professional life.
The Monastic Philosophy of Deep Work Scheduling
Completely eliminate distractions.

The Bimodal Philosophy
of Deep Work Scheduling
In recalling this story I want to emphasize something important: Jung did not deploy a monastic approach to deep work. Donald Knuth and Neal Stephenson, our examples from earlier, attempted to completely eliminate distraction and shallowness from their professional lives. Jung, by contrast, sought this elimination only during the periods he spent at his retreat.

The Rhythmic Philosophy of Deep Work Scheduling
The rhythmic philosophy. This philosophy argues that the easiest way to consistently start deep work sessions is to transform them into a simple regular habit. The goal, in other words, is to generate a rhythm for this work that removes the need for you to invest energy in deciding if and when you’re going to go deep.
Chappell began by attempting a vague commitment to deep work. He made a rule that deep work needed to happen in ninety-minute chunks (recognizing correctly that it takes time to ease into a state of concentration) and he decided he would try to schedule these chunks in an ad hoc manner whenever appropriate openings in his schedule arose.
The rhythmic philosophy provides an interesting contrast to the bimodal philosophy. It perhaps fails to achieve the most intense levels of deep thinking sought in the day-long concentration sessions favored by the bimodalist. The trade-off, however, is that this approach works better with the reality of human nature.
The decision between rhythmic and bimodal can come down to your self-control in such scheduling matters. If you’re Carl Jung and are engaged in an intellectual dogfight with Sigmund Freud’s supporters, you’ll likely have no trouble recognizing the importance of finding time to focus on your ideas. On the other hand, if you’re writing a dissertation with no one pressuring you to get it done, the habitual nature of the rhythmic philosophy might be necessary to maintain progress.
The Journalistic Philosophy of Deep Work Scheduling
It was always amazing … he could retreat up to the bedroom for a while, when the rest of us were chilling on the patio or whatever, to work on his book … he’d go up for twenty minutes or an hour, we’d hear the typewriter pounding, then he’d come down as relaxed as the rest of us … the work never seemed to faze him, he just happily went up to work when he had the spare time.
Isaacson was methodic: Any time he could find some free time, he would switch into a deep work mode and hammer away at his book. I call this approach, in which you fit deep work wherever you can into your schedule, the journalist philosophy.
This approach is not for the deep work novice.
Ritualize
Those who use their minds to create valuable things is that they’re rarely haphazard in their work habits.
“Great creative minds think like artists but work like accountants.”
Where you’ll work and for how long.
How you’ll work once you start to work.
How you’ll support your work.

(As Nietzsche said: “It is only ideas gained from walking that have any worth.”)
Rowling’s decision to check into a luxurious hotel suite near Edinburgh Castle is an example of a curious but effective strategy in the world of deep work: the grand gesture.

They were instead constructed using the standard layout of private offices connected to shared hallways. Their creative mojo had more to do with the fact that these offices shared a small number of long connecting spaces—forcing researchers to interact whenever they needed to travel from one location to another. These mega-hallways, in other words, provided highly effective hubs.

Discipline #1: Focus on the Wildly Important
“The more you try to do, the less you actually accomplish.” They elaborate that execution should be aimed at a small number of “wildly important goals.” This simplicity will help focus an organization’s energy to a sufficient intensity to ignite real results.
you should identify a small number of ambitious outcomes to pursue with your deep work hours.
Discipline #2: Act on the Lead Measures
Discipline #3: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
Discipline #4: Create a Cadence of Accountability

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets … it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.
As a writer and artist, however, Kreider is instead concerned with deep work—the serious efforts that produce things the world values. These efforts, he’s convinced, need the support of a mind regularly released to leisure.
Reason #1: Downtime Aids Insights
Dijksterhuis’s team isolated this effect by giving subjects the information needed for a complex decision regarding a car purchase. Half the subjects were told to think through the information and then make the best decision. The other half were distracted by easy puzzles after they read the information, and were then put on the spot to make a decision without having had time to consciously deliberate. The distracted group ended up performing better.
Observations from experiments such as this one led Dijksterhuis and his collaborators to introduce unconscious thought theory (UTT)—an attempt to understand the different roles conscious and unconscious deliberation play in decision making. At a high level, this theory proposes that for decisions that require the application of strict rules, the conscious mind must be involved. For example, if you need to do a math calculation, only your conscious mind is able to follow the precise arithmetic rules needed for correctness. On the other hand, for decisions that involve large amounts of information and multiple vague, and perhaps even conflicting, constraints, your unconscious mind is well suited to tackle the issue. UTT hypothesizes that this is due to the fact that these regions of your brain have more neuronal bandwidth available, allowing them to move around more information and sift through more potential solutions than your conscious centers of thinking. Your conscious mind, according to this theory, is like a home computer on which you can run carefully written programs that return correct answers to limited problems, whereas your unconscious mind is like Google’s vast data centers, in which statistical algorithms sift through terabytes of unstructured information, teasing out surprising useful solutions to difficult questions.
Reason #2: Downtime Helps Recharge the Energy Needed to Work Deeply
This study, it turns out, is one of many that validate attention restoration theory (ART), which claims that spending time in nature can improve your ability to concentrate. This theory, which was first proposed in the 1980s by the University of Michigan psychologists Rachel Kaplan and Stephen Kaplan (the latter of which co-authored the 2008 study discussed here, along with Marc Berman and John Jonides), is based on the concept of attention fatigue.
Reason #3: The Work That Evening Downtime Replaces Is Usually Not That Important
Ericsson notes that for a novice, somewhere around an hour a day of intense concentration seems to be a limit, while for experts this number can expand to as many as four hours—but rarely more
.
The implication of these results is that your capacity for deep work in a given day is limited. If you’re careful about your schedule (using, for example, the type of productivity strategies described in Rule #4), you should hit your daily deep work capacity during your workday. It follows, therefore, that by evening, you’re beyond the point where you can continue to effectively work deeply. Any work you do fit into the night, therefore, won’t be the type of high-value activities that really advance your career; your efforts will instead likely be confined to low-value shallow tasks (executed at a slow, low-energy pace). By deferring evening work, in other words, you’re not missing out on much of importance.
shutdown ritual that you use at the end of the workday
In more detail, this ritual should ensure that every incomplete task, goal, or project has been reviewed and that for each you have confirmed that either (1) you have a plan you trust for its completion, or (2) it’s captured in a place where it will be revisited when the time is right. The process should be an algorithm: a series of steps you always conduct, one after another. When you’re done, have a set phrase you say that indicates completion (to end my own ritual, I say, “Shutdown complete”).

The first thing I do is take a final look at my e-mail inbox to ensure that there’s nothing requiring an urgent response before the day ends.
The next thing I do is transfer any new tasks that are on my mind or were scribbled down earlier in the day into my official task lists.
Once I have these task lists open, I quickly skim every task in every list, and then look at the next few days on my calendar.
To end the ritual, I use this information to make a rough plan for the next day. Once the plan is created, I say, “Shutdown complete,” and my work thoughts are done for the


the Zeigarnik effect. This effect, which is named for the experimental work of the early-twentieth-century psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, describes the ability of incomplete tasks to dominate our attention. It tells us that if you simply stop whatever you are doing at five p.m. and declare, “I’m done with work until tomorrow,” you’ll likely struggle to keep your mind clear of professional issues, as the many obligations left unresolved in your mind will, as in Bluma Zeigarnik’s experiments, keep battling for your attention throughout the evening (a battle that they’ll often win).

We can find evidence for this claim in the research of Clifford Nass, the late Stanford communications professor who was well known for his study of behavior in the digital age. Among other insights, Nass’s research revealed that constant attention switching online has a lasting negative effect on your brain. Here’s Nass summarizing these findings in a 2010 interview with NPR’s Ira Flatow: So we have scales that allow us to divide up people into people who multitask all the time and people who rarely do, and the differences are remarkable. People who multitask all the time can’t filter out irrelevancy. They can’t manage a working memory. They’re chronically distracted. They initiate much larger parts of their brain that are irrelevant to the task at hand … they’re pretty much mental wrecks. At this point Flatow asks Nass whether the chronically distracted recognize this rewiring of their brain: The people we talk with continually said, “look, when I really have to concentrate, I turn off everything and I am laser-focused.” And unfortunately, they’ve developed habits of mind that make it impossible for them to be laser-focused. They’re suckers for irrelevancy. They just can’t keep on task. [emphasis mine] Once your brain has become accustomed to on-demand distraction, Nass discovered, it’s hard to shake the addiction even when you want to concentrate. To put this more concretely: If every moment of potential boredom in your life—say, having to wait five minutes in line or sit alone in a restaurant until a friend arrives—is relieved with a quick glance at your smartphone, then your brain has likely been rewired to a point where, like the “mental wrecks” in Nass’s research, it’s not ready for deep work—even if you regularly schedule time to practice this concentration.

With these rough categorizations established, the strategy works as follows: Schedule in advance when you’ll use the Internet, and then avoid it altogether outside these times. I suggest that you keep a notepad near your computer at work. On this pad, record the next time you’re allowed to use the Internet. Until you arrive at that time, absolutely no network connectivity is allowed—no matter how tempting.

Point #1: This strategy works even if your job requires lots of Internet use and/or prompt e-mail replies.
If you’re required to spend hours every day online or answer e-mails quickly, that’s fine: This simply means that your Internet blocks will be more numerous than those of someone whose job requires less connectivity. The total number or duration of your Internet blocks doesn’t matter nearly as much as making sure that the integrity of your offline blocks remains intact.
Point #2: Regardless of how you schedule your Internet blocks, you must keep the time outside these blocks absolutely free from Internet use.
Point #3: Scheduling Internet use at home as well as at work can further improve your concentration training.
Suggestion #1: Be Wary of Distractions and Looping
Suggestion #2: Structure Your Deep Thinking
“Thinking deeply” about a problem seems like a self-evident activity, but in reality it’s not.
When faced with a distraction-free mental landscape, a hard problem, and time to think, the next steps can become surprisingly non-obvious. In my experience, it helps to have some structure for this deep thinking process. I suggest starting with a careful review of the relevant variables for solving the problem and then storing these values in your working memory. For example, if you’re working on the outline for a book chapter, the relevant variables might be the main points you want to make in the chapter.
Once the relevant variables are identified, define the specific next-step question you need to answer using these variables.
Assuming you’re able to solve your next-step question, the final step of this structured approach to deep thinking is to consolidate your gains by reviewing clearly the answer you identified. At this point, you can push yourself to the next level of depth by starting the process over. This cycle of reviewing and storing variables, identifying and tackling the next-step question, then consolidating your gains is like an intense workout routine for your concentration ability. It will help you get more out of your productive meditation sessions and accelerate the pace at which you improve your ability to go deep.
second important point summarized by Baratunde Thurston’s story: the impotence with which knowledge workers currently discuss this problem of network tools and attention.
Overwhelmed by these tools’ demands on his time, Thurston felt that his only option was to (temporarily) quit the Internet altogether. This idea that a drastic Internet sabbatical* is the only alternative to the distraction generated by social media and infotainment has increasingly pervaded our cultural conversation.
The problem with this binary response to this issue is that these two choices are much too crude to be useful
. The notion that you would quit the Internet is, of course, an overstuffed straw man, infeasible for most (unless you’re a journalist writing a piece about distraction).
This rule attempts to break us out of this rut by proposing a third option: accepting that these tools are not inherently evil, and that some of them might be quite vital to your success and happiness, but at the same time also accepting that the threshold for allowing a site regular access to your time and attention (not to mention personal data) should be much more stringent, and that most people should therefore be using many fewer such tools.
The Any-Benefit Approach to Network Tool Selection: You’re justified in using a network tool if you can identify any possible benefit to its use, or anything you might possibly miss out on if you don’t use it.

The Craftsman Approach to Tool Selection: Identify the core factors that determine success and happiness in your professional and personal life. Adopt a tool only if its positive impacts on these factors substantially outweigh its negative impacts.
Apply the Law of the Vital Few to Your Internet Habits.
The first step of this strategy is to identify the main high-level goals in both your professional and your personal life.
Once you’ve identified these goals, list for each the two or three most important activities that help you satisfy the goal.
The next step in this strategy is to consider the network tools you currently use. ask whether the use of the tool has a substantially positive impact, a substantially negative impact, or little impact on your regular and successful participation in the activity.
The Law of the Vital Few*: In many settings, 80 percent of a given effect is due to just 20 percent of the possible causes
.
Quit Social Media
Don’t Use the Internet to Entertain Yourself
His vision of elevating the souls and minds of the middle class by reading poetry and great books feels somewhat antiquated and classist. But the logical foundation of his proposal, that you both should and can make deliberate use of your time outside work, remains relevant today—especially with respect to the goal of this rule, which is to reduce the impact of network tools on your ability to perform deep work
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Put more thought into your leisure time.
Very few people work even 8 hours a day. You’re lucky if you get a few good hours in between all the meetings, interruptions, web surfing, office politics, and personal business that permeate the typical workday.
Fewer official working hours helps squeeze the fat out of the typical workweek. Once everyone has less time to get their stuff done, they respect that time even more. People become stingy with their time and that’s a good thing. They don’t waste it on things that just don’t matter. When you have fewer hours you usually spend them more wisely.
Fried had always been interested in the policies of technology companies like Google that gave their employees 20 percent of their time to work on self-directed projects.
To test this theory, 37signals implemented something radical: The company gave its employees the entire month of June off to work deeply on their own projects. This month would be a period free of any shallow work obligations—no status meetings, no memos, and, blessedly, no PowerPoint. At the end of the month, the company held a “pitch day” in which employees pitched the ideas they’d been working on. Summarizing the experiment in an Inc. magazine article, Fried dubbed it a success. The pitch day produced two projects that were soon put into production: a better suite of tools for handling customer support and a data visualization system that helps the company understand how their customers use their products.

“How can we afford to put our business on hold for a month to ‘mess around’ with new ideas?” Fried asked rhetorically. “How can we afford not to?”

Before diving into the details of these strategies, however, we should first confront the reality that there’s a limit to this anti-shallow thinking. The value of deep work vastly outweighs the value of shallow, but this doesn’t mean that you must quixotically pursue a schedule in which all of your time is invested in depth.
a nontrivial amount of shallow work is needed to maintain most knowledge work jobs.
Then there’s the issue of cognitive capacity. Deep work is exhausting because it pushes you toward the limit of your abilities.
In their seminal paper on deliberate practice, Anders Ericsson and his collaborators survey these studies. They note that for someone new to such practice (citing, in particular, a child in the early stages of developing an expert-level skill), an hour a day is a reasonable limit. For those familiar with the rigors of such activities, the limit expands to something like four hours, but rarely more.

Schedule Every Minute of Your Day
We spend much of our day on autopilot—not giving much thought to what we’re doing with our time.

It’s here, of course, that most people will begin to run into trouble. Two things can (and likely will) go wrong with your schedule once the day progresses. The first is that your estimates will prove wrong. You might put aside two hours for writing a press release, for example, and in reality, it takes two and a half hours. The second problem is that you’ll be interrupted and new obligations will unexpectedly appear on your plate. These events will also break your schedule.
use of overflow conditional blocks.

In my own daily scheduling discipline, in addition to regularly scheduling significant blocks of time for speculative thinking and discussion, I maintain a rule that if I stumble onto an important insight, then this is a perfectly valid reason to ignore the rest of my schedule for the day (with the exception, of course, of things that cannot be skipped). I can then stick with this unexpected insight until it loses steam. At this point, I’ll step back and rebuild my schedule for any time that remains in the day.
Quantify the Depth of Every Activity
  • How long would it take (in months) to train a smart recent college graduate with no specialized training in my field to complete this task?
Ask Your Boss for a Shallow Work Budget
  • Finish Your Work by Five Thirty
Become Hard to Reach
Tip #1: Make People Who Send You E-mail Do More Work
If you have an offer, opportunity, or introduction that might make my life more interesting, e-mail me at interesting [at] calnewport.com. For the reasons stated above, I’ll only respond to those proposals that are a good match for my schedule and interests.
I call this approach a sender filter, as I’m asking my correspondents to filter themselves before attempting to contact me.
Tip #2: Do More Work When You Send or Reply to E-mails
What is the project represented by this message, and what is the most efficient process for bringing this project to a successful conclusion?
Once you’ve answered this question for yourself, replace a quick response with one that takes the time to describe the process you identified, points out the current step, and emphasizes the step that comes next.
I call this the process-centric approach to e-mail, and it’s designed to minimize both the number of e-mails you receive and the amount of mental clutter they generate.
The process-centric approach to e-mail can significantly mitigate the impact of this technology on your time and attention. There are two reasons for this effect. First, it reduces the number of e-mails in your inbox—sometimes significantly (something as simple as scheduling a coffee meeting can easily spiral into half a dozen or more messages over a period of many days if you’re not careful about your replies). This, in turn, reduces the time you spend in your inbox and reduces the brainpower you must expend when you do. Second, to steal terminology from David Allen, a good process-centric message immediately “closes the loop” with respect to the project at hand. When a project is initiated by an e-mail that you send or receive, it squats in your mental landscape—becoming something that’s “on your plate” in the sense that it has been brought to your attention and eventually needs to be addressed. This method closes this open loop as soon as it forms.
Process-centric e-mails might not seem natural at first. For one thing, they require that you spend more time thinking about your messages before you compose them. In the moment, this might seem like you’re spending more time on e-mail. But the important point to remember is that the extra two to three minutes you spend at this point will save you many more minutes reading and responding to unnecessary extra messages later.
The other issue is that process-centric messages can seem stilted and overly technical.
You can even separate the process-centric portion of the message from the conversational opening with a divider line, or label it “Proposed Next Steps,” so that its technical tone seems more appropriate in context.
Tip #3: Don’t Respond
Professorial E-mail Sorting:
Do not reply to an e-mail message if any of the following applies:
It’s ambiguous or otherwise makes it hard for you to generate a reasonable response. I
t’s not a question or proposal that interests you.
Nothing really good would happen if you did respond and nothing really bad would happen if you didn’t.
 
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That's a whole lotta bold text man, hahah.

I love the book, but from experience, the advice is difficult to implement. Most of our work is done online, across different apps/platforms, and you also need to keep the communication lines open.

I've actually scheduled a review of my book notes for this week. My attention has been going down the drain with all the apps on my phone & online. I need to get myself back in line.

Also Relevant: I recently purchased a premium Freedom subscription - the best cross-platform app/website blocker out there if you're on Windows/Android (there's also Focus for Mac devices). I'm currently blocking all distractions on my devices from 03:00 until 14:00, and it works great. I now have a mostly distraction-free morning. And instead of scrolling Tinder, I might read a Pocket article or two. I'm considering adding additional filters, e.g. blocking news sites 24/7. So far I'm loving the app.
 

darkzerothree

DunkelNullDrei
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To be honest, that is the point of the book.
You need to be connected, but for deep work, you need to find time to not be.
Else deep work just is not happening.

As for the lots of text.... sorry.
I condensed a whole book there.

You only really need the summary.
Below that is the full notes with highlights.

can’t edit it anymore...
Otherwise I’d remove the notes and link to the notion page.