Deep Work

Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
by Cal Newport

Estimated Reading Time

Summary 55 minutes
Full Book 4:20 hours
You Save 3:25 hours

Deep Work is about the power of focused work. Written by Cal Newport, a computer science professor at Georgetown University, the book’s key insight is that the ability to do great work requires developing powers of focus and work habits of uninterrupted concentration. Unfortunately, many things get in the way of work. The office environment is filled with interruptions. Rapid communication tools such as instant messaging and email disrupt our concentration. The ubiquitously accessible Internet, which is now an integral part of both work and life, contains an infinite number of distractions. This book provides solutions to these challenges.

In this summary:

Deep Work contains two parts. The introduction and Part I explain the concept of deep work, why it is important, modern trends that detract from deep work, and why it can lead to productive and meaningful work.

  • Introduction. Definition of deep work and shallow work.
  • Chapter 1: Deep Work Is Valuable. Why deep work is valuable in the new economy.
  • Chapter 2: Deep Work Is Rare. 3 trends that prioritize shallow work over deep work; 4 reasons why shallow work persists.
  • Chapter 3: Deep Work Is Meaningful. How pursuing deep work can provide meaning in work and life.

Part II discusses the 4 rules of deep work, and explains strategies to avoid distraction and improve your ability to work deeply.

  • Rule #1: Work Deeply. The 4 approaches to deep work; 5 strategies to assist deep work.
  • Rule #2: Embrace Boredom. Weaning your mind from distraction and strengthening your focus ability.
  • Rule #3: Quit Social Media. How to choose your Internet tools.
  • Rule #4: Drain the Shallows. 6 strategies to reduce shallow work.
  • Conclusion. Pushing the limits of deep work.