Lessons I Learned Today on ‘Deep Work’


I’ve started this new habit of jotting down notes from the audio books or podcasts that I listen to that day.

Currently am listening to Cal Newport’s Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. This is part of my effort to practise concentration in my work and to get lots done.

Some of the important points that I learned today are the following.

1) Deliberate Practice Theory: We now know that repeated practice makes us good at what we do. But equally important is the quality of training in addition to the quantity of training.  Practising with full concentration helps one master their art or craft quicker.

2) The Zeigarnik Effect: The good news is that our brain is wired to finish the tasks that we intend to complete. Large tasks will ofcourse take multiple days or weeks to finish. Subconsciously, our brain will remember these incomplete tasks that will motivate us to inch towards the finish line. This is the Zeigarnik Effect.

3) The Theodore Roosevelt Paradox: The American President, when he was a youngster, was known to have multiple interests. He would pursue his various passions, particularly ornithology (study of birds). All this meant that he was only able to spend a quarter of his time for studies. Yet, he performed very well in studies. This shows that having a deep interest in one subject has a positive rub off in other areas and that deep concentration will help you accomplish the task at a much lesser time.

4) Productive Meditation: Walking is considered a good form of productive Meditation. It helps you focus on areas that you want to. I can vouch for this. I now listen to audio books and podcasts while I walk and I find it an efficient way of “reading”. I get some of my best ideas while walking, maybe only next to while I’m showering! :)

So, here is the summary of the lessons I learned during today’s walk and listening to the book, ‘Deep Work’.  I’ll continue to add in more lessons I found useful in tomorrow’s blog post as I continue listening to the audio book.



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