One of my goals for 2021 is to read 5 books. I’ve read 2 so far (reviews are forthcoming) and I am 20% through an audiobook (shout out to Bookplayer).

I was listening to said audiobook during my morning drive and I became frustrated. The audiobook I am listening to is

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

It was suggested to me by my wife, and was suggested to her by her boss. It’s about – you guessed it – deep work, which is defined in the book as periods of focused, intentional work while being completely distraction free.

Why am I frustrated?

I was expecting Strategy and instead I’ve only gotten Data so far.

In my world there’s 3 types of books: Fiction (the most awesome), Strategy (actionable tips for improvement), and Data (literally a collection of cautionary or inspirational data).

I expected Cal Newport to give me tips on how to achieve deep work. The title sort of implies that he is going to do so. So far I’ve learned that some people thrive while being distracted, a bunch of prolific people isolate themselves in order to achieve deep work, and that I should strongly consider learning to program if I want to be of use to society in the near future. Literally, minutes 30-60 are about how this dude learned to code and that in the near future there will only be jobs working with machines or something.

I’ve been consciously trying really hard to prevent myself from becoming angry, frustrated, and stressed out, so my 5 minutes analysis brought me to my 3 types of books theory.

I will finish the book, even if it’s only sets of data, and I’ll take from it what I can.

To put it in perspective, my wife and I are working on improving our finances (we’re fucking killing it by the way) and through our journey in the past year we’ve listened to 2 audiobooks. Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover was a solid wakeup call, and provided both anecdotes about money but also easily actionable advice that we applied to our own life, such as budgeting, not letting people borrow your money, and stop screwing around and get rid of all your debt (Strategy). The Millionaire next door was a a bunch of stats and anecdotes about people either saving a fortune or being born into wealth and squandering their money (Data). Both were good, but I’ll take Strategy over Data any day.