304 pages, 2016
science & nature1064 books
Few books have had as deep an effect on me as Cal Newport’s Deep Work. In an attention-deficit economy, we have lost the ability to focus and solve complex problems—and that means our careers are at risk. More companies embrace open offices, Slack, work-from-home policies, and build remote teams.
When was the last time you focused for just 60 minutes? Or when was the last time you had “real work” done? In the first half of the book, Cal explains why deep work is so valuable and increasingly rare in today’s attention-deficit economy.
Shallow work is made up of non-cognitively demanding tasks (easy to do while distracted) that can be performed while semi-distracted. These jobs (and workers) are easily replicated—it’s a race to the bottom for your career. The ability to work deeply is perhaps the most valuable skill you can master.