I recently read the book ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport, atleast 8 people have recommended the book to me in the past and for some reason I just never got around to it.

I thought the book was well written and wove in anecdotes only when necessary.

There are several parts of the book where I felt a sense of association with the concepts being talked about.

The parts about being lazy are things I’ve written about in the past and shutting oneself off once in a while is something I do

As such some of these parts were great to read because they provided validation for some of the things I’ve been experimenting with and it’s always great to read someone who has gone on to the next step so that I can analyze and pick what I want to put into practice myself.

The bit that I have been ignorantly and inefficiently putting into practice is the part about lead and lag indicators.

I started a practice a year ago of being transparent with the goals I’m setting out for myself and keeping track of them.

One of the things I do with my goals is to put them into buckets of ‘Effort’ and ‘Output’, and somehow (not by design) I’ve ended up creating effort and output goals for a specific topic. Example, I have a goal to write a certain number of blog posts this year, but, there is also another goal where I have to spend a certain amount of time creating content this year. It’s similar, but, not the same.

In essensce, the ‘No of blog posts’ is a lag indicator and ‘Time spent creating content’ is a lead indicator.

While I’ve been aware of lead and lag indicators for a while, I somehow didn’t put that framework onto what I’ve been doing with my goals.

I’m now going to go back to the drawing board and restructure my goals in a way where it allows for lead and lag ( effort and output ) goals for each goal type.

While for me this was the biggest takeaway from the book from a first reading, I intend to re-read in sometime and see what else I can get from it. In some ways, I felt I did feel I was implementing some of the topics already in my life which made the book even more enjoyable to read.

I also loved the parts where Newport questions the value of Social Media by defining the concept of the metric black hole. Essentially, he posits that since we do not know in a quantifiable way the value derived from social media, there is no way of comparing the time spent on it to the same amount of time spent on something else. He suggests that we figure out our own ways of quantifying the value derived from it.

I also liked his views on managing willpower, something to test out over the next few months I suppose.

Overall, I’m a bit of a late reader of this book considering how many people have recommended it to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading
Sainath