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What We’re Learning Wednesday: Deep Work

Happy Wednesday, OP Nation!

I’m kicking off a fun little series we’re going to be hosting on the blog on Wednesdays where we showcase something we’re loving or learning around here at HQ. Jason recently challenged all of the directors to dive into a book by Cal Newport called “Deep Work.” The premise of the book is that deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task and that this unique skill is becoming increasingly rare in our economy and culture.

With this in mind, we are learning to turn off the multi-tasking function of our brains, tune out distractions and dive in deep to the project at hand. It is a hard, but rewarding process to rewire our brains to see depth as the goal, rather than efficiency and accomplishing multiple tasks at once. I’ve pulled out a few of my favorite nuggets from the text below to give you a taste of the Deep Work concept.

We have an information economy that’s dependent on complex systems that change rapidly… To remain valuable 

in our economy, therefore, you must master the art of quickly learning complicated things. This task requires deep work. If you don’t cultivate this ability, you’re likely to fall behind as technology advances.”

“If you can create something useful, its reachable audience is essentially limitless — which greatly magnifies your reward… To succeed you have to produce the absolute best stuff you’re capable of producing — a task that requires depth.” 

“If e-mail were to move to the periphery of your workday, you’d be required a deploy a more thoughtful approach to figuring out what you should be working on and for how long. This type of planning is hard… in the absence of metrics, most people fall back on what’s easiest.”

Whoosh. I’ll be real honest and let you know that this book has been both super convicting and incredibly motivating to how I conduct my work these days. I encourage you to jump on this train with us and grab a copy of Newport’s book for yourself! It can only help you dig in and do the most excellent work you are capable of producing. And we need more of that in this economy. Amen?


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