It was a Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller and Amazon Best Business Book.
I read it with gusto and sleep with the book every night, cuddling it close like a security blanket.
OK, not really, but it is near the top of the pile of business books by work area.
The big idea?
As The Economist put it, “Deep work is the killer app of the knowledge economy: It is only by concentrating intensely that you can master a difficult discipline or solve a demanding problem.”
And this skill is all the more important as more and more tasks become automated or outsourced to lower skilled (or lower paid) workers.
In one example, he tells the story of Carl Jung, the Swiss psychoanalyst who “founded analytical psychology” and spent months each year, seemingly chillin’ in at a lodge in the woods because he was so successful.
In contrast, Newport argues that because Jung spent months in deep work in the woods he was able to make major breakthroughs in psychology. That is, he was doing deep work.
My copy of the book is loaded with pen highlights of passages that I aim to remember and put into practice in my own work:
Blocking off 90+ minute chunks of time to go deep
Religious “calendar blocking” (with the occasional heresy of unplanned activity)