Deep Work: Rules for Focused Work in a Distracted World

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Work in a Distracted World

I’ve been a grumpy and cantankerous curmudgeon for years about the ills of always-on social media, constant email connectivity, relentless meetings and silly technology productivity tools that actually take more time than getting out an old fashioned pen and paper or reading a map once, then driving the route once and having a new city more or less memorized without further need to use GPS every 10 seconds. Yes, I’m the guy who put up a large poster in his employee break room that asks, “Are you being busy or are you being productive?” I’ve got another one that simply states, “Get shit done.”

I’m harsh and brutally to the point. Others, are much more diplomatic and much more effective at getting an important message across without pissing off half the audience. I’ve never had that such skill and grace but Cal Newport does. In his latest book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Work in a Distracted World, he digs deep but tactfully into the important topic of work productivity and focus.

It seems every other day there’s some Fortune 1000 CEO standing in front of a pile of torn down walls and obliterated cubicles, taking a stand for the open workplace without any private offices. Not even the CEOs have private offices. They are right out there in the trenches with the rest of the team. It sounds like a great idea for collaboration and camaraderie, but Cal disposes of those myths quickly.

Regardless of popular trends in productivity, the best advice for anyone looking to get more done each day should start by reading Cals’ well-researched book. Then, look around at the most successful professionals in any industry and you’ll find his advice in action. Your ability to focus and get shit done is, frankly, the number one advantage that will propel your orthodontic practice past your competitors.

Of particular interest to the serious orthodontist who wants to see big growth in their practice, read Rule #3 starting on page 181 and Chapter 2, starting on page 49, both at least 3 times. Read these areas once just to soak them in and enjoy the advice. Then read a second time with pad and pen in hand so you can take notes on how the advice can translate into action items for you and your practice. Then, read a third time at least 30 days after the first reading so that you can hold yourself accountable to see how many of the new pieces of advice you’re actually using. That’s how serious this should be to you. This book quickly made it onto my Best Books of 2016. All of my team leaders are getting a copy and many of my private clients will see this in their reading pile for the year.

Worked at Burleson Orthodontics. Attended University of Missouri–Kansas City. Lives in Kansas City, Missouri.