Imagine you’re working in your office cubicle. There is a looming deadline at hand and whenever you are trying to concentrate, someone laughs hysterically loud from a distant corner. You mutter some abuses under your breath and try to concentrate harder. You try to mentally block the unnecessary noises along with stuffing your fingers into your ears, to added effect. Even now you can hear the printer, someone walking behind, and generally distracting lights but you tell yourself, it is okay and that you can still read the very important document without which finishing work would be difficult. As soon as you reach the second paragraph, a pop-up window shows up and the right-hand corner of the desktop. That can be ignored, for now, you assure yourself. You reach the third paragraph and then your phone lightens up. There is another joke on your family WhatsApp group which is there just for ruining whatever concentration you had built till now. You move on but before you reach the next chapter, notifications galore. Someone visited someplace on the company’s money and want you to see their airport check-ins on Facebook. Or some political upheaval has happened in the capital, your news alert shouts. Or twitter has just lost it’s, what do they say, collective shit, for the 109th time today. And there goes your concentration out of the window and gives up on you.
Has it ever happened to you?
Or as they show in ads, are you fully frustrated with distractions, notifications, social media nonsense, and inability to concentrate for the attention span now almost nonexistent?
If yes, this book is the perfect antidote you need for your addiction to social media, the poison of modern-day life.
Deep Work by Cal Newport tries to do only one thing. It tries to reassure and encourage you that if you really want to do some productive work, which he calls ‘Deep Work’, you have to really boycott everything you think isn’t relevant to the work. The book has several examples of people who really mastered the art of Deep Work and produced astonishing work of literature, science, art, and so on. All they did was to cut themselves off from the material world and concentrate. They trusted their brain to do the knowledge work, they had set out to do and when their brain got free from all the mess around, it produced the desired results and the satisfaction which is often missing from the work. For example,
“Mark Twain wrote much of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in a shed on the property of the Quarry Farm in New York, where he was spending the summer. Twain’s study was so isolated from the main house that his family took to blowing a horn to attract his attention for meals.”
The book repeats several times, that social networking (and mobile phone), is nothing but a poison which is damaging our culture and innate mindset of humans that we are getting consumed by it and not the other way around. It mostly takes the example of modern knowledge workers, say, people who code, write, think, and create.
It also tries to propagate a beautiful fact which is totally unlike what you have been told till now. We are told to be approachable and we are expected to reply to every message, email, text immediately. Deep Work suggests becoming hard to reach. Not only it would make you better at what you’re currently doing instead of wasting time replying to things which can easily be dealt with later. But it also makes others understand that you treasure your time as equally as money.
Reading this book coincided with my getting fed up with social media and I feel no remorse whatsoever not being a regular on Facebook and Twitter.
You can buy it from here: https://amzn.to/2zs9nRL