Deep Work - Cal Newport

Deep Work

By Cal Newport

  • Release Date: 2016-01-05
  • Genre: Management & Leadership
Score: 4.5
From 566 Ratings


Master one of our economy’s most rare skills and achieve groundbreaking results with this “exciting” book (Daniel H. Pink) from an “exceptional” author (New York Times Book Review).

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep Work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there's a better way.

In Deep Work, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four "rules," for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.

1. Work Deeply
2. Embrace Boredom
3. Quit Social Media
4. Drain the Shallows

A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, Deep Work takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories-from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air-and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. Deep Work is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.

An Amazon Best Book of 2016 Pick in Business & Leadership
Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller
A Business Book of the Week at 800-CEO-READ


  • Read it

    By ilya the speedy russian
    A great read if you find yourself feeling like you’re constantly distracted and want to develop better work habits
  • Awesome title and book

    By Themig6
    I am 55 years old and I consume books constantly. This ranks in my top 5 ever. Could not put it down and have never read a book so fast. Excellent advise, blunt but the truth everyone needs to hear.
  • Excellent

    By Rover2021Daws
  • Just what I needed at the right time

    By Dwellman
    This book is being read at a time I am inundated with huge volumes of distraction at work, and in home-based projects. Email, social media, endless calls, meetings, supposed emergencies, etc. Now I have ideas on how to tackle the noise and will set up ways to measure my successes—or lack of successes.
  • Similar to Digital Minimalism, but still relevant

    By robdog151
    Lots of great examples and ideas to being more focused. I can tell Cal greatly benefits from Deep Work and I plan to implement these tactics.
  • Good Reminder. Wish book was more concise.

    By Kelley U
    Certainly a good reminder of why depth in work matters. Book was only average in insights and riddled with personal stories. Main points could be written in 20 pages or so. In fact, reading all the words in this book would be classified as “shallow work”.
  • Life changing

    By Terrance B
    I decided to make the goal of finishing this book while on vacation after hearing so many great things. It certainly didn’t disappoint. I now have the appropriate mindset of taking my mindshare back (think social media and distractions) that gives me that deep, slightly disturbing feeling that leaving these distracting habits behind is what will propel me forward in the things I wanted to do. Without going too specific, if you seek what I seek, (control of your mind, time, and space) the chance to do work that you’ll be proud of when your time’s up, don’t waste it. Start by reading it here.
  • Definitely study this book—it will make a big difference in your life.

    By Blockbuilder 59
    I listen to a lot of self-improvement books. I judge the value of a book by how much it helps me make powerful, positive changes for good in my life. I can honestly say that this book has been by far the best book in that regard. I work in a professional services industry where the concept of “deep work” is often considered something that “computer” people do. By employing the principles detailed in this book I have been able to make some amazing progress on one particular project which is enabling me to really stand out nationwide in the niche area in which I specialize. My practical advice to someone considering this book is to buy it and really pay attention to to the key ideas that Cal Newport discusses. Then, once you have the ideas in mind, really think about how they can apply to your particular situation. There are a lot of industries where people neglect the principles taught in this book. Those who do study these “deep work” concepts and focus on applying them will begin to see themselves standing out above their peers in new and impressive ways. As a matter of full disclosure, this is not some paid review and I don’t know Cal Newport nor have any relationship with him (although I would like to meet him someday, shake his hand, and thank him for writing such a powerful book).
  • Amazing Tips, Has extraneous content

    By Prandawg
    The beginning of the book is just amazing. He clearly outlines what deep work is and the techniques you can use to integrate it in your life. Towards the end, there ends up being a long drawn out conclusion involving content about how to manage your emails which I found to be slightly minute and beside the point. The concepts of attentional residue, and focusing on one thing for extended periods of time to push your cognitive limits is a concept that is not even thought of by most people. Training you cognition is a huge thing to prioritize in life. It also has me thinking about how I will learn things from now on. Rather than focusing on simply having the skills in my classes, I will instead focus on understanding it at the deepest level by mastering the most cognitively demanding components.
  • Great points, but a difficult read

    By Sohrab S
    I enjoyed the valuable points in this book, but I found it to be difficult to read. I kept having to start back at the beginning of a paragraph to grasp the point, which became fatiguing. In addition to this, I appreciate and agree with Cal’s points on social media (and how it inhibits our ability to work deeply), but he states that friends made over social media are assumed to be light in nature. My anecdote: I’ve made several very close friends over social networks. He lost me at this part.