Learn to differentiate deep work from shallow work.

Once you can identify deep work, you can devote your energy to deep work instead of simply answering emails or dabbling in low-grade work activities. It is much more satisfying to create something extraordinary that only you can create.


  1. Learn the definition of deep work.
    Deep work includes “professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skills and are hard to replicate.
  2. Learn the definition of shallow work.
    Shallow work includes a low level of focus and consists of logistical-style tasks that can be performed while distracted. These tasks don’t create new value and can easily be copied. 
  3. Perform deep work instead of shallow work.
    When you are working, think about how you can do work that adds value. Aim to do more than the bare minimum. If the work you are doing can easily be automated, it is shallow work. However, if the work you are doing cannot be done by anyone else except you, it is deep work. For example, for a college professor, answering emails or recording student attendance is shallow work. On the other hand, learning new concepts and integrating them into his teaching methodology is deep work.
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