Deep Work

Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Narrated by: Jeff Bottoms
Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,733 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Popular blogger Cal Newport reveals the new key to achieving success and true meaning in professional life: the ability to master distraction.

Many modern knowledge workers now spend most of their brain power battling distraction and interruption, whether because of the incessant pinging of devices, noisy open-plan offices or the difficulty of deciding what deserves their attention the most. When Cal Newport coined the term deep work on his popular blog, Study Hacks, in 2012, he found the concept quickly hit a nerve. Most of us, after all, are excruciatingly familiar with shallow work instead - distractedly skimming the surface of our workload and never getting to the important part. Newport began exploring the methods and mind-set that foster a practice of distraction-free productivity at work, and now, in Deep Work, he shows how anyone can achieve this elusive state.

Through revealing portraits of both historical and modern-day thinkers, academics and leaders in the fields of technology, science and culture, and their deep work habits, Newport shares an inspiring collection of tools to wring every last drop of value out of your intellectual capacity. He explains why mastering this shift in work practices is crucial for anyone who intends to stay ahead in a complex information economy and how to systematically train the mind to focus. Put simply: developing and cultivating a deep work practice is one of the best decisions we can make in an increasingly distracted world.

©2016 Cal Newport (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Engaging and substantive.... Deep Work accomplishes two considerable tasks: One is putting out a wealth of concrete practices for the ambitious, without relying on gauzy clichés. The second is that Mr. Newport resists the corporate groupthink of constant connectivity without seeming like a curmudgeon." ( The Wall Street Journal)
"Cal Newport is a clear voice in a sea of noise, bringing science and passion in equal measure. We don't need more clicks, more cats, and more emojis. We need brave work, work that happens when we refuse to avert our eyes." (Seth Godin, author of Linchpin)
"As automation and outsourcing reshape the workplace, what new skill do we need? The ability to do deep work. Cal Newport's exciting new book is an introduction and guide to the kind of intense concentration in a distraction-free environment that results in fast, powerful learning and performance. Think of it as calisthenics for your mind - and start your exercise program today." (Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive)
" Deep Work makes a compelling case for cultivating intense focus, and offers immediately actionable steps for infusing more of it into our lives." (Adam M. Grant, author of Originals)

What listeners say about Deep Work

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3/5 of this book is waste of time. Find a summary.

The last 2/5 has very good points. Like what and how to execute some concepts that can help your daily routine. The rest is just a waste of time. Find a summary, this book should have been a 2 hour book maximum.

13 people found this helpful

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great idea but too wordy

I like how Cal Newport tried to convince readers to adopt Deep work with so many examples. The Deep work concept it quite valuable and helps people achieve more than they would normally. On the down side, I felt the book was too wordy. There were too many similar examples here and there. You could read 5 pages and not derive any additional information because he just kept adding examples and sometimes, unrelated content. Overall it was okay. My awareness of the potential of going deep makes it a good read.

10 people found this helpful

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Awesome and practical book

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!The strategies in this book some of which were already part of my life have the potential to radically change ones life if followed and applied consistently : This is a a good manual for anyone desiring to take their performance up to the next level .

7 people found this helpful

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Must read

Great and a must read book, especially if your struggling with focus, studies or being inefficient.

2 people found this helpful

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Good advices surrounded by shallow content

For a book that despises shallowness, it has an amazing quantity of shallow stuff. The good part is that the deep stuff it has is really good.

2 people found this helpful

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Notes from a sketchbook of an average professor

While some of the collection of tactics cited in this book are valuable, the ensemble is not really a great work. the examples are so narrowly skewed to the life of a struggling hyper competitive young professor obsessed with success that some end up being funny if not irrelevant. All the research cited here is interesting but you better read the books from the actual researchers. However in the end you are still left with a few useful tactics you can apply, if you haven’t yet read them elsewhere

1 person found this helpful

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It's one of those life changing books

This book basically teaches you how to be happy. You can use what you learn from this book in nearly every aspect of your life. I deliberately waited with the review of this book so I can evaluate how I've changed my way of life since reading the book and I believe I was able to make some positive changes. I can positively recommend this book to everyone. Especially the people who are just entering adulthood and want to figure out how to adult. This is one great first step (or however many you have taken so far).

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Transforming realization

The arguments for deep work are well spoken, and the strategies on how to achieve are very specific, driving you towards more depth. This book gives you not only the reason on why to commit to depth, but also tells you what path to take, to arrange your life around depth.

1 person found this helpful

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Muito util

A narracao eh muito boa. Clara, fluida. Da para ouvir rapido.

O conteudo do livro também é muito bom. Me deu otimos insights. Espero me tornar mais produtivo com ele.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

Audio books usually are not for me. I however enjoyed this one a lot. I have learned a lot about the value of deep work. This audio book mostly discusses the relevance of living a deep and meaningful life, with practical tips and real life examples. In this age of distraction and shallowness it is useful to evaluate the importance of developing the skill of working deeply. I think most of us (or the ones that grew up without social media) naturally know how to do it, or atleast used to know, but have been distracted like so many other people and forgot how to live a deep and focused life. It's hard to not give in to the addictive platforms available to us on our devices, even those who lived a different life without technology instantly got hooked once it got introduced. A lot of the things discussed are realizations that anyone could make based on thinking logically, but it definitely doesn't hurt to hear this formulated in such a detailed way and if it's not brought to mind then most won't even give this subject much time or thought. In my opinion, most people would definitely benefit from being reminded frequently about the messages discussed in this audiobook. If we don't make it a habit to be less distracted, then whatever knowledge we might have won't be utilized or thougt of and thus forgotten. So it's good to be reminded in case you already know most of this stuff. I might pick up the physical copy so I can read it more thoroughly and remind myself often. These kind of books need to be practiced and not just read and put aside. The audio book itself was easy to listen to and the voice was pleasant and had a comfortable pacing. I am very picky when it comes to listening to audio books, since most audio readers to me have an unpleasant way of speaking/reading the material. This one was very good, the reader had a calm deep voice and didn't sound to monotone or energetic, just the right intensity and volume. I give it 4 stars.

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  • Mark Lancaster
  • 05-23-17

Useful insights into ring-fencing your focus.

Narrator was a bit slow but the audible app allowed me to play at 1.5x.
In 3 bullets.
* cut or batch low value (social media etc) tasks to low energy times of work day.
* schedule deep valuable work in time blocks early in the day.
* protect down-time for productive habits like reading, exercise, family time & getting out into nature.

81 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. A. Oliver
  • 10-09-18

Useful but repetitive and light on substance

I really wanted to love this book and so went into it with an open heart. But I found the information quite minimal, repetitious and a little scattered in it's organisation. It's like collated research around several main points, of which there are sub-points that the author has found interesting. But you cannot get away from the academic nature of the author and therefore the slight feeling of drawing on his academic authority as a means of asserting his ideas. There is not enough real world application for me. I felt like this could easily be boiled down into a long blog post on these main areas. This would make sense in the broader scope of the book, as it is about not wasting time and being focused on quality work. So I'd rather read a concise, well researched blog post than listen to hours and hours of repetition of similar topics. If you have read a few things and done some of your own research on or around 'deep work' you do not need to read this book, but it may be interesting to you. I would say knowing that the human brain has a limit to daily focus until it needs a recharge and a break is the most useful point I took away from this, and now try to make sure I work on 3 hours of focused work first thing, then do the 'shallow work' later on in the day. If this helps me then my free credit was worth it! But not quite as much of a bombshell as I expected...just common sense.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 11-10-16

lots of advice. great read.

I wrote down quite a bit reading that book that I will use instantly. I wouldn't say I was a virgin to Cal's ideas. on a recent project I hid away in a conference room to complete the project with complete focus. no emails or Im. but admittedly I am more reactive to the demands of others than I am to my own made up goals. couple of things I'm going to enforce are more deep thinking moments. and the daily timeblocks allocated time. the thought of ownership for each 30 mins is good. and also saying no to things. I can often day yes to a lot of things. my thinking is that you never know which stone the gem is lying underneath. but after reading this book I need to be more defensive of my time. as a coder I have lots of ideas but email and calls keep me from acting on them.

11 people found this helpful

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  • AManda
  • 09-03-16

well written, well read, and extremely useful

I almost didn't buy this but after hearing a recommendation I decided to give it a try, glad I did. If you're drowning in the day to day minutiae and struggling to get the important stuff done this book is a must.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Adrian Rostek
  • 11-14-16

This book improved my productivness.

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this book to anyone who is suffering from constant procrastination and have difficulty with focusing on their work.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Armine
  • 11-11-16

loved it

This is the third book by this about author that I've read and I loved them all. Cal's advice is always practical, well explained and to the point. I recommend highly.

13 people found this helpful

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  • JedHoll
  • 05-19-17

Interesting

The key messages I think are that email and social media in particular tend to be distracting and use up a lot of your time. Periods of abstinence will increase your productivity. Perhaps a whole book was a long way of making this point but it was made very well

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-09-17

Deep Work Review

Loved the stories, hearing about the daily rituals of successful peoples & learning practical strategies, of which I will be testing.

I will be listening to this again.

Thank you for your focused deep work :)

Gary Edwards

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kwabiwe Sibanda
  • 03-17-17

Got me rethinking of the amount of time I waste

If you want honesty about productivity and be better at it, this is a book for you. Cal breaks down how to go about in delving into "Deep Work". I'll certainly be listening to the book again and remind myself of the Deep Work principles.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-13-18

Could be much shorter

Could be squeezed into one long-ish article. Some useful tips, but not very insightful overall.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-21-17

good point- didnt need 70000 words to explain it!

i was waiting for the explanation on HOW to do deep work... didnt really come? the entire book is about justifying the importance of deep work so if you are unsure why its important this is a good explanation

34 people found this helpful

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  • Antony
  • 12-10-16

Not what you are looking for...

It has a seductive title. Everyone wants to learn how to work harder and for longer but trust me - this will not help you. I've listened to many similar audiobooks but this is based on the most loosely referenced information that will supposedly help you to improve your concentration. Nearly all of it is common sense and some of it is simply outlandish: "Memorise a deck of cards" "Store information as variables in your brain"??? Hmmmmm

36 people found this helpful

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  • Philpot
  • 09-23-16

Well worth the investment!

This book has really challenged my view of effective work in our current environment. I have realised why I'm not achieving as much meaningful work and what I can do about this. A really timely read for all knowledge workers.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Avid Reader
  • 08-22-16

Just what I needed

Great book. The suggestions regarding the blocking out of distractions to deep thinking are excellent.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Miranda
  • 10-06-18

Great but lots of unnecessary info

The practical content is very useful and I will definitely apply it, however there was so much unnecessary story telling about the details of people's lives that I just didn't care about. Honestly the summary would have been a better choice. Save your time.

5 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 08-16-16

Great contemporary logic for old-fashioned hard work

I like the logical structure while maintaining an easy context for wholistic understanding.
A good listen/read for anyone waning to achieve great things by being smart (use your brain to think strong thoughts)

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazing
  • 01-13-18

For those who like their own space.

Any additional comments?

Deep Work is a well read book, with some interesting points that I will try and implement into my own work habits.I did find, however, that the author is very "introverted" in his approach, and he clearly doesn't identify with the needs of extroverts. Monastic approaches to work, where a person locks themself away to think - posting notes basically saying 'get over it' to possible distractions - are seen as 'ideal situations'. He considers social media as having 'minor benefits' - when I propose that most of the world disagrees. Connection and relationships are extremely important to people, which is why so many people feel compelled to Facetime instead of write their thesis. While the author may consider 2 weeks locked in a room a meditative experience, he should also recognise that solitary confinement is actually used as a form of torture.I did like his use of scheduling, memorising and training techniques to train the brain to like solitude and hard work - but I think I will need to find a more extroverted approach to deep work, because there is little hope of me retreating to my bat cave any time soon.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Lance Swift
  • 04-10-17

Dull beyond words

What would have made Deep Work better?

Less repetition of the obvious

What was most disappointing about Cal Newport’s story?

It's all about Cal. More examples of how his suggested methods of focus actually worked for other people outside of his industry would have won me over

Would you be willing to try another one of Jeff Bottoms’s performances?

Yes

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Deep Work?

50% of the book would go. I would cut in more fact, show relevance to others outside of academia, and take out the remminicances

Any additional comments?

Save yourselves $14

7 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew Mcleod
  • 01-18-18

Highly Informative

After listening to the book in the space of a week, I would recommend this to anyone seeking a way to spend their time at work or at home in a more balanced manner. This book outlines several methods used for being able to work in a concentrated manner for sectioned amounts of time without distraction, but also by reducing the amount of free time that is spent procrastinating in between these long projects, so that the work output is faster and of a higher quality overall, without sacrificing too much leisure time.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anant Kasliwal
  • 11-16-19

Good book.

Good book. A bit too pedantic but overall a good read. It goes into too much details sometime that you loose interest but overall good narrative and practical strategies that can be implemented.

1 person found this helpful