My friend recommended Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport, and I just finished reading it. It gave me a lot to think about and ideas to consider for "minimizing the shallow" in my life and carving out more periods of time for work on the long-term, less urgent, deeper things that matter more.
I definitely have found myself falling into the trap of shallow work. The deep vs. shallow concept also reminded me of the maker vs. manager schedule by Paul Graham. When you're a founder, there are elements of the job that are deeper and elements that are shallower, and figuring out how to balance between them isn't easy. This book gives some good advice on setting up a balanced schedule with different types of approaches offered to move back and forth.
I definitely think this book is helpful for founders and others wondering how to free up more time for deeper work. Below are my main notes and takeaways.
My wife and I both just finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo (it was her idea). I had actually heard of it a while ago in Tim Ferriss podcast episode with the author and thought it would be interesting to read. We also enjoyed watching the Netflix series Tidying Up by the author, which actually helped to reinforce stuff from the book by showing visually how to organize and fold things.
With paper I'm pretty good about scanning and destroying and not keeping stuff around too long, but with other categories of items (like electronics), I'm not as minimal, so this book was helpful for me as well.
I found the book really insightful and loved the structured approach she recommends. The idea of tidying by category as opposed to by location makes a lot of sense, and I also liked the main criteria she recommends for keeping something ("does the item spark joy?"). That reminded me of Derek Sivers' methodology for deciding what to do (something should either be "hell yeah" or "no" -- don't do anything that's not a "hell yeah" for you). It was also fun to read about her upbringing and how she got into tidying from an early age.
Now we're inspired to go through all our stuff and really get it organized! Below are my main notes and takeaways.
I finally got around to reading the classic High Output Management by Andy Grove, Intel's former CEO. When I saw it was available as an audiobook and after hearing about it from so many people within a short period of time (including in The Great CEO Within), I immediately jumped on the opportunity to read it.
I now understand why it's such a classic. This is the book that defined so many of the "best practices" that are taken for granted at top performing companies (OKRs, 1:1s, etc.). It was really helpful to hear the original/founding definitions of many important concepts like managerial leverage and task relevant maturity. I also learned a lot about how Grove recommended handling training (and why it's so important for managers to do), performance reviews, interviewing, running effective meetings. I also loved the idea of improving management like optimizing a factory.
Below are some of my notes and takeaways. I highly recommend this book to anyone leading a team or who wants to understand the reasoning behind so many of the management best practices in tech companies today.