3 reasons for doing deep work

Here are three perspectives that promote the idea of focused work.

  1. Neuroscientific perspective tells us that our brains physically transform with more concentration. Opt for intense concentration and choose targets with care. Some reading below.
    • Carstensen, L. (2005) ‘At the Intersection of Emotion and Cognition: Aging and the Positivity Effect’, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14.3: 117-121.
    • Csikzentmihalyi, M. (1990), Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, New York: Harper & Row Publishers, pp.71.
    • Fredrickson, B. (2009), Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive, New York: Crown Archetype.
    • Gallagher, W. (2009), Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life, New York: Penguin, pp.3.
  2. Psychological studies show us the benefits of focused, uninterrupted concentration. These areas have been identified to have the best moments and where jobs are more enjoyable. Some light reading below.
    • Csikzentmihalyi, M. (1983), ‘The Experience Sampling Method’, New Directions for Methodology of Social & Behavioral Science.
    • Csikzentmihalyi, M., Flow, pp.3, 162, 157.
  3. A philosophical perspective explains that depth in work and other areas of life makes for a more meaningful life. Some more light reading below.
    • Dreyfus, H. and Kelly, S.D. (2011) All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age, New York: Free Press, pp.xi.

P.S. Deep Work author Cal Newport is a professor of computer science. He writes about deep work, digital minimalism, and attention capital theory. On top of his professorial duties.

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