If somebody asks me about my defects, I would instinctively answer I’m a victim of a world of distractions. This book is what I did to mitigate that.

Cal Newport is a very smart guy. He wrote a book that practically targets everybody. Who doesn’t have a certain level of attention deficit in a increasing distracted world ? As a software engineer professional, I’m in contact with computers all day long and there is nothing more distracting than a device connected to the internet.

As I read the book, I was progressively realizing the amount of time I was wasting with my choices, decisions and attitudes. I was also gradually adopting the recommended practices, even involuntarily during the day. Some of the things that changed in my routine are:

  • IT professionals usually have multiple screens to show several tools at the same time. I decided to drop my 2 x 27’ screens in favor of my laptop built-in screen. Now, I focus one thing at a time, reducing distraction.

  • I disabled all automatic notifications on my laptop.

  • I listen to calm and relaxing music during the day to cancel the noise around.

  • I uninstalled all social apps from my mobile phone. Now I have to be in a desktop computer to use them. I also decided to be reactive, accessing only in case of family and close friends notifications, instead of actively navigating through the timeline and giving feedback as a primary thing to do. My frequency of use has been dropping lately because of this attitude.

  • I spend more time with family and practice sports 4 times per week to be constructively off-line from deep work.

  • We are selling everything we don’t use anymore and discarding other things in an environmental friendly way. It helps to get rid of distractions and save some time cleaning and organizing the house.

As a drawback, the book talks too much about negative things that normally happens to everybody, but it got me distracted all the time, thinking of my own problems. I frequently lost focus on the reading. I had to get in meditation mood to be able to finish the book.

In summary, the book is very good and recommended for those wishing a day with 30 hours.