Deep Work

I devoured Cal Newport’s latest book Deep Work over the last two days.  He believes that in this age of technology knowledge workers, ones who make their living from creating value from the thoughts they think are increasingly replacing deep thinking through a problem with what he terms “shallow work”, logistical-style work that is not cognitively demanding with frequent breaks of distraction.  

I recognized myself for the untold number of times daily that I grab my phone to check my email, the stock and currency markets, and the latest news.  This led me to reflect on the following, “How do I consume the news?”  I love paper and when I can, that’s how I get the news.  Before the Internet that’s how I got all my news (except the weather).  Today I rely on newspapers and magazines for depth on the few stories I find interesting,  My go-to sites end up being the online sites of newspapers mostly – the NY Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Des Moines Register, and LA Times.

I really try to stay away from social media sites (more on this another day) because, frankly, I don’t trust those sites for news. The reporters at the major newspapers may have biases (after all, who doesn’t), but many of the feature stories are well researched and provide multiple perspectives on the issue, allowing me to think deeply about issues in a way I can’t with the information provided on social media sites.

For me, I need to have a perspective and think about the implications of what I’ve read to feel as though I’m performing deep work.

 

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