For the most part, I don’t reread books. There are too many books to spend time reading the same thing more than once. But in recent years, I’ve learned to make an exception in order to do deep work.
I first read it three years ago, and if I don’t reread it, my work suffers.
What is this mystery book?
Cal Newport‘s Deep Work: rules for focused success in a distracted world. (Catch that in the first paragraph? Tricky, eh?)
The General Premise of Deep Work
My pastor told me about Deep Work years ago, but I didn’t think much about it. Just put it on a list of books to possibly check out. Well, I eventually bought and read the book. Mind. Blown.
The book’s general premise is that it’s hard to focus—especially in today’s world of distractions and instant gratification. (Obvious, right?) If you want to stand out and succeed in the Information Age, you’ve got to be intentional. You have to learn to focus.
By focusing, you get more done, and you do it better. You can learn new tasks and grow your skillset. As an added bonus, focusing helps you be present. When you focus at work, you get things done. You can leave work at work and relax when you’re at home.
Annual Benefits Must Be Renewed
Reading the book renewed my passion to focus. However, like all things, that passion faded. A few months after reading the book, I found myself distracted. Some days, I surfed the web and wondered why my work took so long. I knew the answer. But for some reason, just knowing wasn’t enough.
So, I grabbed the book and read it again.
Same problem started up in early 2023. So here I am, reading Deep Work for the third time.
By reading a little every day, I go from distracted and slow to focused and fast. I’m able to dig in deep on your editing project, tighten up your resume or cover letter, or write your article, press release, or memoir. I can also get an entire blog written in a single sitting. (Believe it or not, when I’m not focused, it’s hard to even get something this short written at once.)
You Can Do Deep Work
The good news is that you can do the same!
If you’re struggling to focus and are working late hours and ignoring your family, stop! Grab Deep Work and read it. Then put it into practice. In a few months, read it again. Then read it again and again, until it leaves a lasting impression you can’t shake.
Your work, your clients, and your family will thank you.