Book Club Feb Week 4: Deep Work

by Diane Wolf in Blog, Book Club
February 28, 2017 0 comments


Welcome to the final email for February’s book Deep Work. I hope you have enjoyed this book, and are looking forward to diving into Influence by Robert Cialdini in March.

To conclude our February study, I wanted to highlight a few points from Newport’s book that I felt were particularly relevant for entrepreneurs and business professionals.

1. Newport talks about a theory he calls the Attention Restoration Theory. He notes that we have a finite amount of mental energy available for deep work that requires concentration before we have to take a break and re-charge. He says that an activity that doesn’t require a lot of mental concentration is one that helps us recharge, and gives the example of walking in the woods or looking at the scenery. He does note, however, that if you allow interruptions to your recharging time, such as checking emails, you will lose the benefit as these are not recharging activities. I challenge you to find some activities that you enjoy to create your own Attention Restoration Therapy!

2. Have a shutdown ritual at the end of the work day to clearly delineate you leaving work and entering personal time. For entrepreneurs who work from home, it can be particularly challenging to separate work and home life, so you might want to establish a strict ritual of, for example, shutting down your computer, closing the door to your work space, and making yourself a cup of tea. That sounds quite delightful. I may have to try that. I’m notorious for working all hours… it’s after 11 pm as I write this…oops!

3. Finally he introduces a very interesting concept of using the ‘craftsman approach to tools.’ He notes that there are many tools out there that can be useful in our businesses, for example various social media platforms, but encourages us to carefully assess each tool. Just because a tool provides value, does NOT mean the value proposition is high enough to justify using it if it keeps us away from activities that would be more useful in achieving our goals.

I’m going to close with Newport’s recommendation for selecting tools according to the Craftsman Approach:

“Identify the core factors that determine success and happiness in your professional and personal life. Adopt a tool only if its positive impacts on these factors substantially outweigh its negative impacts.”

These are important words for those of us who feel anxious about missing out on some new tool or shiny object.

Why don’t you pop over to our Facebook group and share what your favourite tools are that DO provide enough value to justify being in your toolkit!

And remember… feel free to share our link with anyone who might like to join us for March’s book!

Warmly, Diane

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