Deep Work by Cal Newport

Recently I finished reading Deep Work written by Cal Newport. This book is an extensive look into the success habits and the value of learning, while living in a distracted work, the immense value of learning to be focused and produce high quality, knowledge work by developing the skill of going deep when working. 


So often we invest our time jumping from one thing to the next, riddled with the distraction of the latest and greatest shiny object. With Deep Work, Cal talks about the value of minimizing distraction, and maximizing focus during the hours you are most productive - so you can accomplish more, and invest less of your time doing it.


Once upon a time - it was perceived as a badge of honour to be busy doing busy work all the dang time. Now, science has revealed the true value of developing habits of rest, relaxation, investing time in activities you love, learning to slow down, and learning to keep focus in a world with a million and 5 distractions coming at you. My key takeaway from Deep Work that I am going to developer healthier practices around is a Shutdown Routine - Developing a list of a few rules that I am able to review quickly and confirm I've completed the tasks that were highest priority that day has been essential in working towards shutting off my work brain, and giving myself the space to rest without thinking about pending work that I have to do. For me, my routine includes a few simple checks and once completed I announce out loud 'Shutdown Complete'. In the book Cal explains the value of having a routine at the end of the day to help train your brain to know it is time to shut down work mode. The shutdown routine I adopted looks like this:

  1. Ensure any open tickets have been handled
  2. Check my email and delete any emails that are unnecessary
  3. Review my schedule for the next day to decide best time for me to start 
  4. Say goodbye to my team for the day
  5. Turn off my work lap top
  6. Shutdown Complete

The Shutdown routine can be ever evolving with changing priorities, starting a new role, moving to a different organization, or a multitude of other factors. It's best to create your routine and develop the habit, keeping in mind that if something isn't working as part of your routine, or something changes you have the ability to adjust to better suit your needs at that time. 

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