A Guide to Deep Work

Tuan Nguyen
9 min readSep 21, 2021

A Guide to staying focus in today’s distracted world—a review of Deep Work by Cal Newport.

Photo by Alexander Hafemann on Unsplash

We are living in a connected world, where the pace of innovation is astonishing. Never before do we have access to so much information and can easily connect to others within seconds. The fourth industrial revolution is here, and things will only get better. Or is it?

Nothing in life is absolute (well, except for Vodka). With more connectivity, we are becoming more distracted than ever. This is more true with knowledge workers than any other profession. There are thousands of things that compete for your attention in a typical workday.

You start your day off by checking your emails. Halfway through your inbox, a colleague stops by to chat about the new restructuring rumors. Then suddenly, it is time for a budget planning meeting that lasts two hours. There go the morning.

You get back to your desk, planning to finish going through your inbox, and your boss stops by asking for that urgent report. You drop everything and work on that until 3 PM when there’s someone’s birthday. Then there is a training session about cybersecurity until 5 PM. You ended up leaving the office with a half-read inbox.

In a business setting, without clear feedback on the impact of various behaviors to the bottom line, we will tend toward…