Book Review: Deep Work — Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

3 min readMar 21, 2023


2023 7th book… another book from Cal Newport — “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World”

Deep work means activities performed in deep concentration without any distractions. And distractions like Emails, working in open spaces that facilitate a constant exchange of ideas or meetings… mean shallow work.

Why this Book?

I read another book by Cal Newport “Digital Minimalism” and really like the ideas proposed by him. So another book from him to learn more about his ideas.

This Book in 3 Sentences

Cal Newport thinks the ability to concentrate deeply is a valuable but rare asset in the present life. He explains why deep work is meaningful to us but not shallow work. He also introduces a few ways to minimize time spent on shallow work and increase your deep work capacity.

Why Deep Work is Rare but Valuable?

In a fast-changing world, learning quickly is not enough, you also have to learn deeply to produce high quality work. There are two factors affecting work quality: time spent on work and intensity to focus. This book focuses on the latter one. The easiness to approach shallow work makes getting to deep work so hard. Once we are distracted by shallow work, it takes us much effort to get back to the grind.

Hence, there are not many people who can master deep work to learn or produce something quick and deep that is valuable.

Rules to Apply Deep Work

  1. Have a deep work routine to practice regularly

Concentrating completely is a skill that has to be trained regularly. Building a habit by specifying when and where to practice deep work would help.


2. Shut down work completely after the deep work period ends

Allowing your brain to rest gives chances for the unconscious mind to slip in and sort things out. Ideas always pop up when I am resting or taking a walk!

Also, most of us only have an hour max to focus completely. If you are trying to work in the evening, it is usually beyond the point to focus and your performance will drop. So it is better to leave till another day.


3. Experimenting with the deep work scheduling method

The book suggests 3 methods -

  • monastic (complete elimination of shallow work),
  • bimodal (alternate days between deep and shallow work)
  • rhythmic (dedicate a period to focus daily

As a student and part-time worker, I find the rhythmic method suits me most. Scheduling a specific period to focus (usually in the morning), I get most of the work done, and have the whole afternoon to do other things.


4. Reduce distractions by scheduling them to your daily plan. Eg I will watch a Netflix show at 8pm


I recommend this book to folks who want to stand out among others. It shows how deep work allows you to learn something quickly in an ever-changing world with new technologies or things arising almost every day.

Some information about the book

Title: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Author: Cal Newport

Rate: 5/5 ⭐️