Summary of Deep Work

Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

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Deep Work book summary
You don’t succeed by answering emails quickly. You succeed by regularly practicing deep work.


9 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Professor Cal Newport presents a multipart argument for deep, concentrated work. He explains that work that demands your full focus is intrinsically valuable and rewarding. You need to be able to handle “deep work” to succeed in an information economy. Yet people face increasing distractions or social pressure that drive them toward shallow work. Newport develops his ideas with a blend of formal research, stories and personal accounts about the challenges and rewards of deep work. He provides tips for arranging your life to support deep work, which he sees as valuable, productive and rare. He makes his case persuasively and even poetically. getAbstract recommends his guidance to knowledge workers and anyone else who is seeking flow, creativity or focus.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What constitutes “deep work,”
  • Why deep work matters and
  • What strategies you can use to organize your life to support your deep work.


“Deep Work” and Why It Matters
Deep work is professional work that requires complete focus and full concentration. Deep work pushes your creative and analytical abilities to their limits. For real achievement in art, science, business or other fields, you must work deeply. To understand...
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About the Author

Cal Newport teaches in Georgetown University’s computer science department. He also wrote So Good They Can’t Ignore You: How to Win at College.

Comment on this summary

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    Michelle Ubben 1 month ago
    Great inspiration to drain the shallow work and block time for deep work that requires focus. A good way to start may be to identify priorities that requires deep work and schedule time for it away from the office churn.
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    Richard Pettibone 1 month ago
    Great read!
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    Shashank Chourasia 2 months ago
    Interesting & valuable thoughts
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    Matthias Yström 2 months ago
    Useful thoughts for individuals but also for managers in setting expectations and in coaching employees.
  • Avatar
    Daniel Lee 2 months ago
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    Oz Yitzhak 2 months ago
    Very ggod
  • Avatar
    Richard Ploss 2 months ago
    Interesting summary. The book brings up some very valid points
  • Avatar
    Peter Yarrow 2 months ago
    Some interesting points of view. The advice on emails is particularly thought provoking.
  • Avatar
    Ewelina Mawle 3 months ago
    Very good summary
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    Jie Wang 3 months ago
    #30DaysOfSummaries It has something in common with other articles regarding concentration and focuses. The advantage of this summary is that it gives clear and easy-to-follow way to its reader. I like the style.
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    Jeff Ostrowski 3 months ago
    Spot-on advice and analysis.
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    Junaid Mian 3 months ago
    Insightful, helpful, and valuable.
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    Duncan Parkes 3 months ago
    Boring. Got through first few paras and then spent time boosting my status on social media with witty comments like this. Why does it matter? Shallow thinking is enough to make a good living why bother with all this hard stuff?
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    Hans Overturf 3 months ago
    Solid. Buying the book. As to A A's comment regarding 30 Days of Summaries: Mindful Unplugging or Deep Work? I use the summaries to find interesting, meaningful books that I will then read in their entirety.
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    Winston Williams 3 months ago
    Very valuable information. People are busy being busy and not productive. It is not how many hours you "put in", it's what you "put in" to the hours.
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    Rajesh Venkiteswaran 3 months ago
    Very useful book. Good summary
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    Ashish Agarwal 3 months ago
    #30Days of Summaries: Mindful Unplugging or Deep Work? Are we making more efficient non-humans out of ourselves through all this?

    It would be interesting to find out the tangible effect on an individual's productivity after incorporating the suggestions laid out in this and other summaries from this challenge.
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    Keith Hollingsworth 3 months ago
    Really useful summary, I also found this youtube summary to be interesting about the same book (length = 8 mins)
  • Avatar
    Tatiana Aminova 3 months ago
    Thank you so much! I love it !
    Very true!
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    John Wilson 3 months ago
    I agree - really useful summary, thanks
  • Avatar
    Wim Annerel 3 months ago
    Tahnk you so much for this summary. This is one of the most important books of the decade for me!

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