Deep Work (2016), C. Newport

This book was recommended to me by a colleague. I instantly liked the idea behind this book, which is basically “How do you stay focused in a hyper-connected and ever more distracted world?”.

Nowadays, it is assumed that everything high tech or connected to the internet is undeniably good, from smartwatches to online shows. Even French humorist Haroun recently made fun of “tech startups”. He said in one of his sketches:

I feel like startup founders are people that hold meetings in which they say: “Guys, we need to invent something that’s not very useful but has a USB port”

This is of course exaggerated, but there is some truth and “Deep Work” by C. Newport talks about this a lot. It goes in depth about how one can evalutate the usefulness of social networks, email, smartphones, etc.

Some of the methods that I take away from this book to help me live the focused life are the “Grand Gesture”, the shutdown ritual, scheduled internet usage, productive meditation and email sender filters.

Some other methods seem interesting like keeping a fixed and small set of personal and professional goals, planing the evenings and weekends in advance to avoid succumbing to low value activities for lack of a plan and asking the right questions to know whether a task is best done by me or by someone else.