My notes on Deep Work

In this article, I extracted the key concepts I learned from the book "Deep Work" by Cal Newport. I added some personal observations and experiences.

Would I recommend this book?Yes it isbook review 45

This is one of the most recommended books and one of the best books I have read so far. And I read a lot of books.

The TL;DR of this book is: To do a great job, you need to put yourself in an environment where you have a lot of time to focus, uninterrupted, and interference-free.

Here, you will carry out in-depth work.

This concept is very common to programmers. When writing a piece of code, we need to keep all these castles in mind, and the smallest interference will actually affect our ability to work.

It is not a mystery that an open office is not good for productivity. I read some stories, people get up early and go to the officeWork before everyone else arrivesOr get off work at home after work because you will be distracted at work.

Except during the internship, I was fortunate to have never been to the office, and I always work from home, despite the challenges it brought.

In my opinion, the only way to perform great work is to spend a lot of time alone, without anything that can distract you and make your mind drift.

As a knowledge worker, you need to maintain this kind of work throughout your life. You can't just stop learning new things, can you? You always need this quality time to execute. Otherwise, you will get stuck in abilities and career.

This book makes a good point:The Internet has made our world small, and we compete with people all over the world. you areDestined to be mediocreUnless you can do your best, people will follow people 10,000 miles away and do better than you.

Are you in a hurry? But there is a way: in-depth work.Do good work and you will flourishBecauseIn-depth work is one of the most rare thingsIn today's society that is easily distracted and immediately satisfied.

This book first defines 3 main attributes of in-depth work:

  • The in-depth work isvaluable
  • The in-depth work israre
  • The in-depth work ismeaningful


As knowledge workers, our most important ability isKnow how to quickly learn and master new thingsAnd apply this knowledge to our craft.

There is no evolution without learning, we have been learning all our lives. If you stopped learning how mobile phones work 10 years ago, you will be out of touch with society. If you stop learning about these new machines at the factory, then the factory will have closed down. Otherwise, other people will work there, not you.

This is where deep work makes you shine. It allows you to learn quickly in a very profound way. Learning is a skill that requires a lot of time investment. The higher the level of concentration, the less time it takes. Great musicians are worth paying for the price of concert tickets, because all the deep work they have done in the past has made them careers.

If you do not do in-depth work, then in the long run, others will be more valuable than you.


There is very little in-depth work. Because of the way large companies operate, people who work in large companies almost never have the opportunity to do in-depth work. Too many people, too many meetings, too many emails and phone calls make you unable to concentrate.

The business community expects us to take the clear, measurable and micromanagement steps that we need to take every day, reply to emails as soon as possible, and usually do shallow work, while deep work is the opposite. Respond to the latest meeting agenda.

Play as a busy developer. It is impossible to measure in-depth work and how well you perform in this work, so it is discouraged to use it at all levels. It’s better to be busy than it seems to be unproductive when trying to perform deeper work. It’s best to post 20 tweets a day. Pretending to know all this is better than not tweeting for a month.

As a remote worker, you can have more remote working opportunities. Set aside uninterrupted time to process the transaction, close the email, and return to the communication tool after 3 hours. This is feasible.

Independent workers like me can accomplish this task more easily. I don’t need to respond to anyone other than the customer, so I can reserve the number of hours required to enter the service centerflowAnd try my best. During the day, deep work is also a rare resource. You cannot do 8 hours of in-depth work. Brain drain. Three hours is already an amazing achievement.

When people work at the edge of the grid, we can do better, do it more often, and in general, those who have too much to do in their lives will have better results.


We live in a world where it is more efficient to respond to 20 emails than to think about strategies to move the project forward. It’s easier to measure and easier to mind, because procrastination is more likely to take you to the inbox to perform shallow, insignificant tasks. And immediately bring you a sense of satisfaction.

But this satisfaction will not last.

In-depth work can make you feel more satisfied with what you are doing. Just like a carpenter who spends several months to make individual objects and use bare dead trees to create artworks, you are a skilled worker and focus on making your work as perfect as possible, which is difficult Confident satisfaction.

Learning to appreciate the results of craftsmanship and the craftsmanship itself is the first step to in-depth research.

How to do in-depth work

The mind is designed for shallow work. It will look for various possible interference factors to make itself engage in shallow work again.

Before performing in-depth work, you need to set up a way to make it possible. You can do this in different ways or settings. You need a ritual, different rituals for different types of people, suitable for different lifestyles.

  • You can permanently eliminate all disturbances in your life, so you have a lot of time to focus on your craft. You do one thing and do it very well. You deleted everything that might increase interference. The book lists some examples of book writers who just focus on writing books instead of meeting or responding to e-mails, because this wastes their work efficiency.
  • You may be completely focused on certain things at certain times of the year, and at other times you will be engaged in other types of things. You can do this on a regular basis, such as going to the cabin during the summer months. This includes a one-month retreat to complete a project you started a few years ago.
  • You can develop the habit of doing a little bit of deep work every day. For example, you wake up 2 hours before normal time and use these 2 hours to do more in-depth work. This is my usual practice and publish a blog post every day. It allows you to create a work chain that cannot be interrupted after a certain period of time, because this is a shame. You write 1,000 words a day for 20 days, which is really too bad to break the chain. If you can keep up, you will write a book immediately.
  • If you have time, you can do in-depth work. On weekends or here and there for a few hours to say, there is no regular commitment.

Depending on your commitment and your work or school, whatever method you prefer, all you need to do is create some kind of ritual to make you work. A good guide to this bookMiracle morning. You can't just expect inspiration to strike and lead you to the best job. You need to create the environment to make this work possible. For example, I use an app called SelfControl to block all interference and mute the device when I need to work. Nietzsche said: "All truly great ideas are conceived by walking." The way he engages in deep work is to walk.

Usually, it is very extreme to place one extreme in the place where special work is performed. For example, a writer goes to a hut, and even builds a hut in his yard. And, the more effort you put into building the cabin, the more likely you are to actually use it. Some famous writers often go to expensive hotel rooms. You paid for the room, it's better to write some now.

Some people perform best in a company, especially when they are engaged in innovative work, so a good trick is to get some like-minded people to work with you.

Don't focus on too many tasks at once. Focus on some key ones.

Keep the "score". My score is the number of posts published in the past 30 days. Every day I write a new blog post and my score will increase. I didn't really track it, but I knew when I missed it.

Accountability is also critical: working in a public place with a public roadmap or release date is a great help. I publish it every day, and every reader of the blog is my responsible partner. I can't skip a day.

Make time for vacation. Spend some time charging in nature. Your deep working time is limited. When you run out of deep working time, please refrain from shallow work.

There is a clear evening ceremony to close the work. Turn off the computer, close the office door, and don't read e-mail (and turn off notifications).

Even in hard work (or maybe more in hard work), how many times have you been to Reddit or Hacker News or your favorite newspaper site? I am willing, many times! Even use smartphones in every tiny moment of free time in life.

For a long time, we have been distracted by sites and tools that use natural tendencies to get news and bright things.

Embracing boredom means that we must accept boredom again. To carry out in-depth work, we must first learn not to seek easy and superficial interference.

One way to do this is to arrange for distractions. Arrange for 1 hour to browse the Internet, Reddit, and YouTube. Whenever you want to do this outside of this time period, please resist.

A good time to do deep work is when doing physical exercises that do not require a lot of energy. Like walking dogs, or just walking. I remember reading that Steve Jobs is famous for his long journeys. Most of Apple's innovations may happen in this way. I think the best idea happens every time the dog is walking for 3-4 hours. I use an iPhone recorder to store all my thoughts, and I will definitely forget them when I get home.

Social media is one of the most labor-intensive things around. You can easily spend hours on Facebook or Twitter, debate, express opinions, build a network, and stay abreast of industry news and trends.

Of course, this is not in-depth work. On the contrary, this is superficial work. Staying away from social media is definitely a better choice for us, but for some reason, we have never given up many times, because without them, you will lose contact with your peers and even friends. This thing penetrates into the modern world.

The nature of social media drives us to check it regularly, making it regularly interrupted in our daily lives. I use apps like RescueTime to understand how much time I was wasting on my computer, and iOS devices allow you to limit the time spent on social media (excellent features!). Some professionsClaimThe use of social media, because the work is done by them, and things are different.

If I put 100% of my energy on the blog, I can eliminate most of the social media and still be successful, but if I work remotely and there is no real-world network about my field, socialize with moderation The media is very helpful in understanding the key points to focus on. For example, in the future.

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