Last year I made a doc with all my highlights from Cal Newport’s Deep Work. I copied and pasted them all from my Kindle Highlights page. Then I set a one minute interval timer to go through each of them and write thoughts for a minute each.
After doing that exercise, I thought it’d be good to do that more often for every book I read.
A year later, I wish I followed through on that because the highlights are good to read through.
I wrote about de-cluttering and also shared some tips that stuck with me through reading a few tidying books. One of them was to learn to be okay getting rid of sentimental things.
I finally tossed a bunch of work notebooks. Some were from last year around the time I originally read Deep Work. I flipped through them and almost kept a couple because there were some good examples of scheduling blocks of time for deep work. Out with the old, though.
Still, I can’t toss one journal of mine. I wrote in it from probably 2004-2008. I didn’t fill it. It captured some of my thinking from college. I also had enough awareness at the time to comment on how dumb some of it would seem in the future.
It’s still easy to get caught up in, though, no matter how aware you are. Though that’s probably the first step.
Some of the things that stuck with me from Deep Work: practicing being bored, making the internet less of a source of entertainment, and working on single problems for longer blocks of time.
My problem now is picking the right thing to work on. Cal has mentioned The One Thing and Essentialism as good books for narrowing this down.