Book Review
Ep. 109
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This week’s episode is a book review of Cal Newport’s Deep Work

Show Transcript
Welcome to another episode of lessons from a quitter. I am so excited that you are here. I do something special on the last episode of the month. It's a book review of a book that I think can help on this journey of quitting and figuring out what you want to do, and really stepping into that dream life that you want. Some of the past reviews that I have, if you want to check them out, are James Clear's Atomic Habits, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck and some other great ones. So today we are going to do Deep Work by Cal Newport. I was really excited about this book because I know I need it very badly. I am acutely aware of how distracted I am at work, how I'm constantly pinging between email and social media and a million other things, and my children and being in the house and just cleaning up and not really getting into a flow or into really important work.

And so I knew this, I was sort of scared of reading this book because I knew it was going to call me out specifically and it did. And I'm gonna share basically the outline of the book. I do really like the concept. I really think it is an important book. I didn't love the way it was written. And I'll explain Cal Newport is a professor at MIT and this read like an academic paper. I mean, I think they tried to dumb it down for kind of a regular consumer book, but it still is just very evident that it is from academic research. And I think it's not written in a way that is very easily digestible. Not that it's difficult to read. I can't explain it. It's just not an easy flow to read. So I didn't love the book, but I did love the principles in it.

So hopefully this will help you if you haven't read it. Okay. So the book starts out basically describing what deep work is. And so we should talk about that because it is basically professional activities that are performed in a distraction-free state of concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit, right? So you create really valuable work. You improve your skill and it's things that are hard to wrap a pate. It really shows your expertise as opposed to all of the shallow work that we all typically do, that we understand it's non cognitively demanding tasks that can be performed while distracted, while multitasking, that you can typically train somebody fairly easily to do the same things. And in today's day and age, it seems like more and more of our work tends to be as shallow work. So he talks about a couple of examples in the intro as to why this is such a problem.
And he talks about really influential thinkers who started adopting deep work even before we had all the problems with the internet. So he talks about Carl Young, who became one of the most influential thinkers in the 20th century and basically developed analytical psychology in 1921. He had published a paper disagreeing with Freud who used to be his mentor, which was a pretty big deal back then. And so he ended up buying some remote cabin and going for part of the year and locking himself in this cabin to really do deep work, into developing his theories, publishing articles and writing books. And that is what propelled him to be this leader in the field of psychology. He talks about bill Gates doing similar things. Bill Gates has a thing that's kind of famous. Now it's called think weeks. He goes twice a year for a week away, completely alone with literally nothing to do, but think and read.
And he saves really important issues that he's mulling over, whether it's for his company or his foundation or the things he wants to do. Nice think weeks. And he's talked about a lot of the breakthroughs that he's had. And what was really fascinating in reading this book is that the problem is not just that we don't get this deep work. We don't get this time to really develop important pieces of work. And he talks about that at length about how there are tons of authors and professors and other people who have really noticed the costs of being so plugged into technology and not really having the space to think and write and produce. And a lot of people have talked about how, like either, I can write a novel or I can respond to a bunch of emails. I can't do both. And so I would rather produce something that is of more value and better use of my time than just responding to everybody.
So that is kind of, I think what we all is the problem of not being able to have enough time for deep work, but what was really fascinating to me. And I'll talk about how he goes in more depth throughout the book is that neurologically a lot of the studies that he cites too is that if you spend enough time doing this frenetic shallow work, you permanently reduce your capacity to perform deep work. So it's not only that we are distracted because of all these tools that we now have, it's really degrading our capacity to remain focused. And I think that was really surprising and interesting. I'll talk about that more in detail, but he ends the intro by basically saying that this is a huge opportunity for those people who recognize the potential of resisting this trend of giving in to all of this connectivity and prioritizing depth because it is so rare in today's day and age that you will stand out.
So the book is split up into two parts, part one, which is three chapters is really just his argument of why deep work is so important. And then part two is a lot of the rules of how to go about cultivating deep work into your practice. So starting with part one, he breaks up the chapters into three chapters. So it's deep work is valuable. Deep work is rare and deep work is meaningful. And this is his attempt to kind of convince you that this is something you should really take seriously and figure out how to implement in your life. So starting with deep work is valuable. He just talks about how we obviously are seeing a change in our economy. And with that advent of all of these technologies and with the speed at which everything is changing, there is an elimination of a lot of low-level jobs that can be done by computers.
And so with this change in the workforce, you're only going to win in this economy. He categorizes it as three people, high skilled workers, which he defines as those who can work well and creatively with intelligent machines, superstars, and owners. So high skilled workers, he talks about how you can master things quickly and learn how to produce with these machines. And he gives the example of Nate Silver, who is able to take tons and tons of data and statistics, and basically use it to figure out predictions for whether it's elections or sporting events. And one of the things that he does that I think is a good point is he says that people highlight the need to work with these tools such as learning Twitter or Facebook as having these skills of working with these machines. And he basically says like, that's not the same thing that's like saying that you want to learn to be a mechanic by playing with toy cars.
He talks about basically understanding machines in, I think as a computer scientist in a very, in-depth way, not in just social media marketing, the superstars that he talks about. He gives an example of David Hanson who created Ruby on rails, which is basically the language that most of the internet isn't in. And he talks about how, because we can hire people from anywhere in the world, you can rework remotely. Those are the people that will always have jobs and other people can be replaced because the superstars can be hired. And then the last group is obviously owners. So if you have capital, then you could still win in this economy. And he gives examples of venture capitalists. Who have done incredibly well by being able to predict what is going to be big. And a lot of those people still limit their own distractions in order to be able to really go deep in understanding what is happening in the work landscape.
He gives an example for deep work being valuable that I think is a really great example. And it's an Adam Grant. So I don't know if you've heard of Adam Grant. He has two of the most popular Ted talks. He is the youngest full tenured professor at the Wharton School of Business. And it really is remarkable what he has been able to accomplish in a very short career by the time that he was granted tenure ship in 2014, he had published over 60 articles in national journals and had written a bestselling book. Now he's only 38 now. So when he became a tenured professor, he was 32. That is unheard of, especially like a full tenured professor. And what Cal Newport talks about is one of the only reasons people have studied him because not only has he been able to produce unbelievable amounts in that time, he's also one of the highest-rated professors by students at Wharton.
And so he really wanted to study how he did this. And what Adam Grant does is he chooses one semester to have all of the classes he's going to teach. And in that semester, he only focuses on teaching and on being available to his students as much as possible. And then he spends the following semester and the summer locked away working on research. And so he routinely puts on his out of office email. He has doors closed. People are not allowed to basically talk to him. And he spends really long stretches in deep work. And he's been able to produce one of the reasons that this helps is because we've all heard about context switching. When you go from task to task B, there is an attention residue, right? Your attention part of it will remain stuck on that original task. And every one of us has experienced this.
When let's say you quickly just want to check your email at night and you see an email from a boss or some upsetting email. You don't just stop thinking about it, even if you're not responding like your brain is now working on that problem. And so this happens, obviously when you're trying to multitask, when you're going between tasks and going back to email, it takes time to switch back to the thing that you were working on and you constantly have your mind mulling over the other stuff. And so it's really important to give yourself uninterrupted attention onto one subject. Now, before he moves on from this chapter, he does give an example of somebody like Jack Dorsey. Jack Dorsey is the founder of Twitter and he was the CEO of Square. So he was running to multi-million if not billion-dollar companies. And he is famous for having kind of an open floor plan.
He sits at a desk in the open floor plan and lets anybody come up to him at any time and interrupt him. And the author talks about how in certain roles, such as CEOs of major companies, the goal is not deep work like what they are doing requires constant interaction and constant quick decision making that they've gained from years of experience. And if that is your role, then maybe these rules don't apply to you. But I think what he's, what he was arguing is that the vast majority of us do not fall in those categories. And we've just sort of diluted ourselves into thinking that we have to constantly be connected. So he goes on to talk about how deep work is rare. And I think we all realize how much shallow work we do and how little deep work we do. I don't think there's really a question about that.
But what he says is that we've assumed that it has to be like this, that being connected is just a better thing. He talks about the cult of the internet that we've just basically accepted that everything from the internet is good. If it's high tech, then it's good. And so we don't question what tools do we need and what tools do we not. He talks about this metric black hole. And like, that's why we continue to do these things because one it's easier. So getting a response immediately to your email is easier, right? Setting up a meeting and being able to talk through things quickly is easier. And because we don't instantly see that immediate cost to the company or to your own work, there is this metric black hole. You can't see that it's actually damaging, but if you do any evaluation, you'll realize that it is very damaging because you end up losing out on time to actually develop things that would move the needle forward.
Another reason he says that it's rare is because we all know this, our society now just glorifies being busy. So busy has become a proxy for being productive. And when you're in a role that most of us are, and these kinds of knowledge fields, it's hard to show what your productivity is. And so we've kind of all fallen back into the same approach as the industrial age, where if you're working in a factory, it's like how fast you can go, how visibly busy you are. And so if you're constantly just responding to emails and you're walking around the office, talking to people and you're in meetings constantly, you look busy, right? And so I'm sure like a lot of bosses are like, wow, that's a great worker, but there's no actual evidence that you're doing anything that's being really productive. And he talks about how it has been calculated, how bad it is for business because there have been studies where they've calculated the number of minutes that people spend on email.
And millions of dollars to the company a year is spent on just these administrative tasks. The last part of this part, one where he talks about it being important is that deep work is meaningful and he gives three different arguments. One is neurological. And we talked about how our brains construct their worldview based on what we pay attention to. He talks about a book by Winifred, Gallagher called wrapped, where she discusses, where she was diagnosed with cancer. And she made a conscious decision to focus on all of the positives in her life. And it made that experience so much more positive than she thought it would be. And then she started studying this later and realized that like everything that we are, everything we think, feel, and do is just the sum of what we focus on. And there's tons and tons of studies on this that we literally just create our own reality is based on what we are thinking and what we focus on.
And he talks about a study where they looked at the brains of young people and old people and young people's amygdalas would fire off for both negative and positive stimuli. And old peoples would only fire off with positive. And it was shown that old people were happier, not because they didn't have negatives in their life, but they had literally rewired their brain to focus on the happy. And there's, he talks about how this intense concentration makes you happier because we have all found that like when you have a lot of idle time, your brain tends to focus on smaller and irrelevant problems. And right now with the constant barrage of negative news or all of these things on social media, that negatively affects our health. When you're focusing on those things that end up becoming your reality. When you are immersed in work, that you feel challenged by and excited by you end up creating a happier life for yourself.
He then goes onto the psychological argument. And he references a study in the 1980s where people were tracked throughout the day and asked how they felt at different points. If this is the study where they basically termed the coin flow because what they found was that when people were in activities that were pushing either their mind or their body to accomplish something very difficult is when they felt the happiest. And what they were surprised in this study is that people were actually happier in their jobs and they weren't in free time. And they didn't expect this because so many of us really believe that we want more time to relax, but they were saying that a lot of free time is really unstructured. And so it's really easy to be much more distracted during that time. And oftentimes we are happier when our brain likes challenges, right?
I think everybody kind of realizes maybe even during COVID, oftentimes maybe you wanted longer stretches of being able to be home, but you realize when you have that, that you ended up getting bored really quickly, our minds like challenges. And so there is an argument for giving your mind something to really focus on. And then he talks about a philosophical argument and the fact that we don't need a rarefied job, but we need a rarefied approach to our job because just as our mind needs these challenges, like when everyone is in this search for meaning, oftentimes it's just the meaning that you give to the work that you're doing. And if you feel like you're making, doing something really valuable, that adds meaning to your life. And I think so many of us don't feel that because we're stuck answering email all day and that just doesn't feel like something that is fulfilling.
So that is the argument for deep work. Again, I think it's pretty obvious to most of us, right? That we are distracted, that we are addicted to our phones, that we are constantly not allowing ourselves to even be bored or to ruminate over things or to really create meaningful things in our lives. We're just putting out fires all day long. And I think he doesn't mean he wants you to accept that premise before you then start to really implement these rules so that you stick with them. So rule number one is working deeply. He talks about how we have a finite amount of willpower and it is depleted quickly. And so we are fighting every day. We fight desires all day long. And so you have to set your environment up to when I talked about this in atomic habits too, with James Claire, one of the best ways to make sure that you stick to a goal or habit is to set up your environment in a way that will support you.
Right? So James Clear talked about things we've all heard where it's like, if you want to wake up and work out, like put your workout clothes out and do things that will help you stick to that goal. What Cal Newport talks about is just deciding on the type of deep work that you're going to do. So don't just leave it up to a whim of every day, Oh, hopefully, today I'll get some work done. He has four different approaches. One is the monastic approach, which is basically eliminating anything that's shallow. So there's professors, I think I said, authors, who don't even have email and they've written on their website, do not contact me. I won't respond. Obviously this isn't really possible for most of us in our jobs. But if you have the ability like an individual job, he recommends trying to do something like this.
The second one is the bi-modal approach, which is what we talked about with Carl Young or Adam Grant, which is clearly dividing up your time into these defined stretches for deep work. He says that the minimum amount has to be one full day. It's not enough to just get up in the morning and do a couple of hours. And so this still might be hard for somebody at a job. Like you, can't not respond to your email I guess, in a whole day. But he was saying like, if you can, if you can figure out ways where you can have stretches of doing deep work, then this is a good approach. The third one is a rhythmic philosophy, which is kind of picking some time throughout the day to be able to do the work. So it's waking up early doing it at night, figuring out when works for you, and blocking off those days.
He talks about this chaining method that apparently Jerry Seinfeld had told a younger comedian that his approach to writing jokes is writing one joke a day, and then he crosses it off the calendar. And your only goal is to not break that chain. And so it's a matter of figuring out how do you incorporate this every single day? And then the last one is the journalistic philosophy, which is based on deadlines. So like, if you want to get an article in or a book in you figure out the times that you can do deep workaround that he doesn't recommend this for the novice, because it's somebody that has to know how to get in and out of deep work quickly. But those are the approaches. Pick one and try to incorporate more of this. Every day, a couple of other tips that he gives for being able to work deeply, is it stop waiting for motivation.
You have to have a ritual. You have to have decided times. I think this is a big one for everybody, for goal setting and anything that you want to accomplish. We have this idea that one day we're just going to get up and have all this motivation and do the things that we want to do, but it doesn't work like that. Nobody works like that. So if you want to get something done, you have to schedule it. And when he says ritualize, it like, decide on everything, decide how you're going to work. Are you going to ban the internet completely? How many hours are you going to do it? When are you going to do it? How are you going to support that work, create an entire ritual for when you're going to do this deep work. And then the other thing that I think is really important, he talks about how you need to be lazy.
You, your brain needs time to be idle. And it's so important because in this day and age, when we are constantly connected our brains, I mean, we really, our work is suffering because we never give it time to disconnect. And they've done study after study. That shows that like, when you leave a complex problem, your subconscious mind actually works through it better. And you come to a better understanding than if you're constantly just trying to like force your way through it. We all know that we need to recharge, right? We know that it doesn't even have to be a study like that your energy can get recharged. If you walk away from something, he talks about a study that was really interesting where they had a group of students and they split them up into two and a half. The students were asked to walk through this fake nature field outside of the school.
And the other half were asked to walk through a busy city. And then they were given a concentration task. And the group that walked through nature did 20% better than the one that walked through the city. And in order to make sure that, that it wasn't just like the people, the next day they switched the group. And again, it was the people that walk through nature that did better. And there's this thing of directed attention, right? When you're in a city, you have to be paying attention more. You have to be constantly looking out at like, whether you should cross the street or not. And whether a car is coming and who's on the sidewalk and all the noises, and that takes up brainpower. And so there's just a need to be in a place where you don't have to think, and you can let your brain relax.
And lastly, he talks about the fact that a lot of the work that you're doing in the evening, just trying to squeeze things in is shallow work anyways. And so you're better served by not doing it again. He has tons of examples or they have tons of studies where they asked a big consulting firm who is used to constantly answering client emails. They didn't experiment where they asked the people in one team to shut off for an, a complete day. And the work that they ended up producing was better than the people that were connected all the time. So there's tons of evidence for this, but we've just been so programmed to believe that if we're not connected all times that we're going to miss out on something or something horrible is going to happen. And again, I think that what's interesting in a lot of what he talks about that I find with myself is that you sort of lack the ability, which we'll talk about the next rule is like, you just lack this ability to not be distracted.
The next rule that he talked about is embracing boredom. And he says that we've been so trained to distract ourselves, that we literally don't know how to become bored anymore. Like, as you're standing in line at a store, a lot of times, if you're just sitting at a red light anywhere you are, we feel the need to like bring out our phone and start scrolling through something. Cause we, our brain just cannot handle that challenge and uncomfortableness of being bored. And so we have, we have to start training ourselves to stop the distraction. And so what I love about this chapter that I didn't know is he's actually against the whole social media sabbatical or the digital detox where people try to take a day off or a week off because he says, it's not about like that short amount of time. And he says, don't take breaks from distraction instead, take breaks from focus.
So he's saying, instead of deciding that you're going to do deep work for, let's say two hours, and then you're going to let yourself, that's, that's the break that you're giving from distraction. I'm going to focus for these two hours. He's saying schedule in when you're going to take a break from focus. So put on your calendar. I'm I can only check my email or I can only go on social media at 10:00 AM and at 5:00 PM or whenever. And he says, the good thing about this is even if you, your job requires you to constantly be connected, you can schedule as many times as you want, schedule it at 10 and 11 at 12 every hour, you have to go on your email, let's say, but the key is that you cannot go on at any other time. So your brain is going to want to at 10 30, like distract itself because you're trying to do something challenging.
And the work is in retraining your brain to stop distracting itself. And so when you've given it a Clare time that like, okay, we will be on the internet from 10 to 10 15, then it's like, you're using these tools, but they don't control you. And he says that this is really required obviously at home too because it doesn't really work. If you have this kind of rule at work and then you come home and you're constantly distracting or constantly scrolling, it becomes a way of figuring out how basically you take control of your brain and you decide when these things will happen and that you don't give in to the kind of the addiction rule number three, which is going to be difficult for, I think most of us is to quit social media. And I have mixed feelings about this. Obviously. I think it might be different.
I don't know. I think he might disagree with me, but I think it's different when you're running a business on social media. But he basically says that, like, we all know that these tools are reducing our abilities, our ability to concentrate. We all know that we know it's taking up our time. We all get that report at the end of the week on our phone, that's alarming at how much time we spend on it. And yet we just assume that it's inevitable. Like this is just the way the world is. Right. And he says that people kind of justify the use of these tools because it provides some benefit. Any benefit is enough to say, well, I get to connect with family or I see what my high school friends are doing or whatever. And he's just like, this is not what a cost-benefit analysis is.
You need to identify really how much this is costing you. And whether that, if the benefits overwhelmingly outweigh the costs, then fine, but identify the main goals that you have in whether it's professionally or personally, and then identify the two or three important activities that you need to satisfy those goals and then focus on which tools help you do that. Right? Like don't just use tools because everybody is doing it. And he says, it's very true that it is a zero-sum game. You have a limited amount of time and attention. And if you're constantly being distracted and doing low impact things, then you're not doing the higher impact activities. So as a test, he says to quit social for 30 days and don't tell anyone that's the key, because I think it's so often we convince ourselves that we'll miss out.
And that I don't know that we're kind of more important than we may actually be. And if you see that, like nobody noticed it wasn't as important to you to miss for those 30 days, then you can stay off of it. He also says, don't use the internet for entertainment, websites like Buzzfeed or business insider, because they're made for clickbait. They're made to keep you addicted and to keep your attention as much as possible. One thing that was really interesting is he referenced a book, a self-help book from 1910 by Arnold Bennett. And that was at the time where there was this rise of kind of white-collar workers because of the industrial revolution. And so people had been kind of switching to these city jobs of going to the office. And Bennett had talked about how these white-collar workers are going to London for their eight hours and how sad it was that they were calling this their quote-unquote day.
And there are another 16 hours in their day. And he was calling for the fact that those hours should be used to cultivate yourself and you should make deliberate use of that time outside of your work. And you would get pushed back by people saying like, well, I need to rest. And he was saying like, besides sleep, your brain needs challenges. It does not care for rest, which I think has actually been proven true by study after study. And it's just interesting that here we are a hundred years later and throughout the expansion of technology, oftentimes we thought or think that technology is going to come about to make our lives easier, to make things maybe faster to help us work less. And the opposite has become true that we are now more connected, more than ever. And what sometimes looks like a benefit, turns out to be a huge cost.
And while it's great that maybe you can work from anywhere, the fact that you're now connected means you're working all the time or that you're connected all the time and you're never shutting your brain off and you're never logging off. And that is causing a lot of problems for people. And it's, it's interesting to see that we're this doesn't just go away. Like it's not as though I think so often we're trying to find the tactic or we're trying to find the tool that will then all of a sudden give us this time back. But it's like the only tool is to shut this stuff off and just say like, I'm not going to do it. And I'm not saying, listen, I have just as much problem. I've been struggling with this myself for a really long time, especially with social media and how to balance wanting to build my business and this podcast, and really connect with UIs.
And I have such an amazing response from social media. I've had, it's been such an incredible tool to connect with people, but I definitely feel the handcuffs that it has put on me. And I feel that like the hundred percent addiction that it is, and I've been really examining like how much of this is just what I'm telling myself that I have to be on that for some reason, people need to hear from me, which is ridiculous, but how do I do it without letting it control my life? And if I'm trying to cultivate a more intentional future for myself, if I'm trying to understand what I really want from my future, how can I do that while basically having these tools work for me and not overrun everything because I can't have the future I want at the way that I'm working. Right. I am.
I definitely, it's funny cause I have a lot of stories about not having enough time. And I realize how ridiculous that is because I waste so much of my time with stuff that isn't important. And after reading this book that highlighted it for me. And so it's a matter of, okay, if I want to spend that time doing things that are really gonna propel me toward the future that I want, then I need to get really serious about how I spend my time. And the last rule is just drain the shallows. He talks about how we are terrible judges of how much time we spend on things, which again is really noticeable. I think when people started seeing there's their phone reports, I know for me, it was shocking. I would have never said that I use my phone as much as it shows that I do.
They've done tons of studies of this, where they ask people even like how much they thought they worked. And they overestimated that by a ridiculous amount, how much they thought they slept. They underestimated that we just don't are not good judges of how we spend our time. And so he recommends recording every minute of your day for a week to see how much time you spend on things. And then he says to schedule every minute of your day. So when you are making a schedule for the week pick blocks of time and say like from nine to 11, I'm going to do this from 11 to 12 and have it scheduled every minute. Now you can rewrite it as you go. Because a lot of times in work, something might come up, maybe something goes over and it gives more of a specific strategy that he uses.
I won't go into it, but he just basically time blocks. And he says that the point is not to like, make it so rigid that you can't change it, but it's just to put thoughtfulness into what you're doing. And I have noticed that this has led to a huge change in how I work. I started doing this just with goal setting. I started planning my weeks every week and I mean, I still get distracted, don't get me wrong. But I think that we're so used to just reacting. It's like getting up and getting on your email and reacting or doing all the things that you need to do. And then you don't ever, like, we just keep pushing the things that we want to do to the next day and the next day, and then they never get done. And it's amazing when you can take a little bit of like time to plan and find times in your day where you can actually do the things you want to do, how much you can actually get done.
So I would highly recommend that as well. And then lastly, he says become hard to reach. And he talks about all these things. How email is the biggest culprit and how, and he gives strategies of like basically trying to stop people from emailing you. I don't think they're the most helpful for people that are working in offices. I think again, it comes maybe from the perspective of a professor insurer, maybe you don't have to respond to every student that emails you or anybody that wants to interview you for an article. I don't think that's necessarily the way that it works for most people in the working world. But I will caveat that to say that a lot of times we have just created these rules. We think if I don't respond within 20 minutes, they are going to be upset. Like nobody has said that you're just a people pleaser and you want to make sure that you never upset anybody and you want to make sure you're the best at whatever you think responding to emails is.
And so you have put yourself in this box that you have to respond immediately. And oftentimes it's fine if you don't respond for a couple of hours. And I have seen other people put their out of office kind of response saying like, I check emails at 10 and at two if you need a response before then call me because most people are actually very wary of calling someone on the phone. I think that we realized that that is much more of an intrusive Trojan into their time. And so most people won't do that. And so unless it's very important, people will be fine with you checking the email and responding later and you don't even have to go that far. If you can't do that for your job. I just think don't just accept. I think so often we say like, oh, I can't not respond or I can't not be on social media.
I say that. And I'm saying this from my own perspective, I have literally said the words. Like, I can't just get off Instagram. I do it for this podcast. And of course, I could, I want to do, it's funny because unintentionally I've stopped posting on LinkedIn. I've stopped posting on Tech-Talk. I was doing that for a while and I might do it again, but I clearly can do whatever I want. I've just scared that I might have certain consequences. And I think that's just more because I've fallen into a habit. And I think this book did a really good job of kind of shaking me out of that belief and showing me that I'm just creating. I'm just kind of going along with what everybody else says I need to do. And it is leading to more than happiness and less actual productivity, because I've realized that if I limit that, then I can actually create more resources for you guys.
I can actually do things that move the needle more. I can create courses and I can create PDFs and videos and do things that can actually help. But I find myself responding to so many people's emails or damning people on Instagram and like which one is actually going to create the change that I want to create. So I would say that maybe you can't become hard to reach, but maybe you can do one thing that will lessen the amount of time that you are responding. So that is deep work again. I don't think it's, I think his examples are really good. I think the fact that he it's very academic. So every single point he makes is backed up by some kind of a study. I think that the premise is actually not something that most people would disagree with. I think it's not shocking that we don't engage in deep work.
For me, the most surprising part was the fact that our brains have literally been rewired to not be able to be bored and not be able to not distract ourselves. And that's kind of a scary thing to think about. And I noticed that in myself of how hard it is to do to stay focused. And so I am committed to doing a couple of the things that he says in this book. I will plan out my days every minute, I will really try to limit email and social media to certain times that I schedule and try not to go to the, on the internet any other time. So let me know if you're going to try any of that stuff too. I won't respond to your email immediately, but I will. At some point you can email me at goalie at lessons from a quitter. I hope you guys liked this episode and maybe it helped you learn a little more about your own brain and what you can do to be a winner in this new
Economy. I will be back next week with another episode, and I hope you all take care of yourselves until then. Bye. Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes. It'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at lessons from a quitter and on Twitter at quitter podcast, I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.