By Cal Newport
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Additional resources for Deep Work Rules for Focused Success
The world represented by your inbox, in other words, isn’t a pleasant world to inhabit. ” A workday driven by the shallow, from a neurological perspective, is likely to be a draining and upsetting day, even if most of the shallow things that capture your attention seem harmless or fun. ” We’d be wise to follow her lead. A Psychological Argument for Depth Our second argument for why depth generates meaning comes from the work of one of the world’s best-known (and most misspelled) psychologists, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
This dense ingot must then be shaped and polished into a long and elegant sword blade. “This part, the initial breakdown, is terrible,” Furrer says to the camera as he methodically heats the ingot, hits it with a hammer, turns it, hits it, then puts it back in the flames to start over. It becomes clear that he’s not drearily whacking at the metal like a miner with a pickaxe: Every hit, though forceful, is carefully controlled. “You have to be very gentle with it or you will crack it,” he explains.
Free time, on the other hand, is unstructured, and requires much greater effort to be shaped into something that can be enjoyed. And as the ESM studies confirmed, the more such flow experiences that occur in a given week, the higher the subject’s life satisfaction. Human beings, it seems, are at their best when immersed deeply in something challenging. Both point toward the importance of depth over shallowness, but they focus on two different explanations for this importance. If we give rapt attention to important things, and therefore also ignore shallow negative things, we’ll experience our working life as more important and positive.
Deep Work Rules for Focused Success by Cal Newport