Deep Work, Shallow Work and Frippery

As you begin to read this chapter, I invite you to participate in a short experiment: cut yourself off from electronic connections with the outside world for 30 minutes. If you are reading this from a physical book, turn off your phone and computer, find a comfortable chair and concentrate simply on reading for 30 minutes. If you are reading on an electronic device, switch it to airplane mode and don’t use anything other than your reading app. Does this experiment sound difficult? Exhilarating? Old-fashioned? Perhaps you feel like Nicholas Carr, who wrote in his 2010 book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, “Over the last few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, ...

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