The musings of an aspiring carver of space

Deep Work

I'm just starting the subject book, by Cal Newport. I've been thinking about reading Newport for quite some time: CGP Grey recommended So Good They Can't Ignore You on a very early episode of HI, as I recall. Rob Muhlestein (aka rwxrob) recommending Deep Work as part of his RWX.GG knowledge project was the nudge I needed.

I begin this endeavour with more than a bit of trepidation.

Am I cut out for deep work? I honestly don't know. Back in the days of pencil and paper, I remember accomplishing most things through a facility for memorisation, and the adrenaline surge of a time-crunch. (I was an astonishing procrastinator.) I suppose, thinking about it, I did produce some Dungeons & Dragons campaigns of staggering detail, requiring many hours of concentrated work. But that isn't the same thing as pushing my brain with a heavy cognitive load for an extended period of time.

But I must try. As I've said before, my training programme is not letting up, and my current, chaotic approach is reaching the end of its utility.

I finished Notes On A Nervous Planet by Matt Haig last night. I think I mentioned that a friend had recommended it, knowing about my problems with anxiety. While I think there's a high likelihood — on any particular random opening of the book — of your eyes falling on something rather facile, I would be lying if I said that it hadn't helped. My zettelkasten, only started in earnest when I was already two-thirds of the way through the book, still has notes on half a dozen pages of Haig's thoughts.

I'm still anxious, though. The degree varies from day to day, spiking when I think about leaving the house (which I rarely do). Another source is looking at what's required of me professionally over the coming months. I'm hoping Newport will help me get a handle on that.

End of Day 42

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