Deep Work by Cal Newport | Mini Review | Personal Growth

This week, on Productively Yours – I’ll share my reading update on Deep Work and my experience with the book so far.

It’s the start of the second week of 2023 and here I am, still holding my first book. Okay, I know it’s not supposed to be a race but there’s just so many books I have been piling up on my shelves. Also, the weekly trip to Crossword is not really helping on that front. We’re just hoarding books right now (and it’s literally addiction, we can’t stop now)! Anyhoo, I’m predicting that I’ll be holding a new book baby in my hands the day after. It’s not just the want to cover more books this year but also, Deep Work has me hooked now. Ever since I reached the part where he starts talking about the rules, my eyelids were stuck.

Overall, this is going to be a mini-experience review, so I’ll let you in on how I felt towards the book and my trailing thoughts:

So far, I have absolutely loved the book. It’s a constant reminder of how people like me need digital space not once a year, month or week but on a daily basis. Honestly, I just love that I feel validated by this book. It helped me understand my need to stay disconnected from tech while working or studying, which is what I mostly do when I’m not sleeping. Nerd alert! On a serious note, if you’re someone like me who tends to need ‘focus blocks’ to work efficiently and for whom distractions are pet peeves, I hope this book finds you too.

The book is jam-packed with methods and rules to help you put systems into place to help you work deeply. The whole concept revolves around working with a concentrated approach and it does exactly what it says on the cover. It embraces rules to imbibe focused success in a distracted world. There are precedents and case histories on renowned people throughout the book. For a person like me, it wasn’t really difficult to adapt to the idea but if you’ve been accustomed to distraction, it could be difficult to simply accept the idea of putting distractions away. However, what I genuinely feel is that once you put your systems into place, it’s not that difficult to implement it either. My suggestion – read through the book and make a practical attempt to put it into effect.

Secondly, what I want to remind you is – just put away the guilt already. When I initially started on my no-tech-work journey (way before I started reading Deep Work), I realised that people who have made themselves available for instant communication in the online network – they won’t have the initial capacity to understand the utility of your approach. At first, I would try to put the logic forward on why I don’t believe in picking calls or responding to texts during work. However, I’ve come to accept that people won’t always get you. They’ll not always be open to understanding what works for you. For some, instant connectivity might not be a deal-breaker while for others, constant connectivity is a necessity. It’s okay to fall into either of these categories as long as you’re not impeaching your preferred way of life on others.

To adapt into a healthy mode of focus, do what matters to you, in the way that’s best for you. You can’t be constantly changing your work-style preferences to suit others. Only you are living your goals, nobody else is. And if your systems say that digital is a distraction, it is. Nobody gets to tell you not to pause. Nobody gets to tell you that you’re wrong to focus. So, put the damn guilt away! It’s okay to not be instantly available to people.

We hope these takeaways inspire you to go and pick your own copy or order it from the comfort of your couch. If you’re looking forward to read this amazing book, here are some links for your reference – Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD 

Have an opinion on the post? Share what you learnt from your experience of reading this amazing book in the comments below. Share your personal takeaways and your story of how this book made an impact on your life.

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