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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson features the best Big Ideas from the best optimal living books. More wisdom in less time to help you live your greatest life. (Learn more at optimize.me.)
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Nov 7, 2017

Cal Newport has a very big brain. He got his Ph.D. from MIT and is a professor of Computer Science at Georgetown. He also wrote one of my favorite books: Deep Work.

In it, Cal tells us that we can either do Deep Work or we can do Shallow Work.

Deep Work, he says, is becoming simultaneously more RARE and more VALUABLE. While most people flit around from one Shallow Work task (email/phone call/reactive this or that) to another, very few of us are unplugging from technology and locking ourselves in a bubble of focus where we can do some truly impactful Deep Work. But, that’s where the real magic happens.

How are YOU doing with that?

Cal has an equation that’s worth internalizing:

→ High Quality Work Produced = Time Spent x Intensity of Focus

Want to crank out some GREAT work in a very efficient period of time? Jack up the intensity (!) of your focus. How? Deep Work.

Here’s the +1 for today: Turn everything off. Give yourself a block of time to do nothing but Deep Work. Repeat that tomorrow. And then again. And again. And again.

Drain the Shallows. Go Deep!

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