John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_) are two IT Pros turned VMware Solutions Engineers. Each week, they identify and bring you the best career advice they wish they'd been given, with some general IT discussion is sprinkled in as well.
Certification and Mentoring with Manny Sidhu
Nick and John discuss how technical certifications can advance a career and the satisfaction of teaching and mentoring with independent consultant Manny Sidhu.
Changing Your Career Trajectory with Yadin Porter de León
In episode 89, we discuss changing your career trajectory with Yadin Porter de León.
Applying the Beginner Mindset in Major Job Transitions – Steven Murawski Part 3
Episode 107 - The third and final part of Nick and John's conversation with Steven Murawski, Principal Cloud Advocate at Microsoft. We see how Steven applies the beginner mindset in major job transitions.
Book Discussion: Deep Work, Part 3 – The Execution
Welcome to episode 143 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two Pre-Sales Technical Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode we share part 3 of a book discussion series, providing more on practical tips for the execution of deep work focused on the remainder of rule # 1 from Cal Newport’s book.
Original Recording Date: 10-02-2021
Topics – 2nd Half of "Rule #1 – Work Deeply", Format Reminder, Execute Like a Business, Be Lazy, Shutdown Ritual
0:58 Part 3 of our discussion on Deep Work by Cal Newport
* Check out Part 1, Episode 141, where we discussed the “Why?” of the book, and Part 2, Episode 142, where we talked through the first half of the first rule.
* Format: We’ll do some summarization, then answer whether we believe the point, whether it applies to us, whether it makes us want to change, and what we anticipate changing, if anything.
* One thing we realized is that we want to model how we’re going to try to read books that have a big impact on us from now on
on by doing the following:
* Summarize big points.
* Take notes.
* Record our reactions.
* Record what we’re going to try to change.
Second Half of Rule #1 – Work Deeply
3:14 Execute Like a Business
* From The Four Disciplines of Execution (Franklin/Covey)
* This was ironic after discussing how businesses are missing deep work. This phrase refers more to the distinction between what to do and how to do it.
Discipline #1: Focus on the Wildly Important
Create a specific goal; Focus what you’re working on down to the minimum things that will lead to professional success. Instead of trying to accomplish many things, try to accomplish a very few key things very, very well.
Discipline #2: Act on the Lead Measures
Important goals involving deep work often have trailing metrics (measurements of the outcome) that come too late to make changes. Instead, make sure to measure lead metrics, the behaviors that should lead to the success measured by the trailing metrics. (Conflict with the idea of the metrics black hole?)
For knowledge workers, the leading metric is clear: time spent doing deep work in pursuit of the identified goal.
Discipline #3: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
Measuring a behavior changes how you behave. Since the lead measure is hours spent in deep work in pursuit of the goal, the scoreboard should display that metric.
Discipline #4: Create a Cadence of Accountability
Have a regular accountability meeting to review metrics and commit to specific adjustments in order to keep on track. A weekly review which lasts a few minutes can help to draw attention to sagging or rising work metrics and figure out what is causing the good or bad effect (in order to enhance or correct it).
Do I believe this?
* John: Yes. I’m wondering if I’m biased towards things that are asking me to make difficult choices and measure data.
* Nick: Yes. It’s extremely hard to pick the things on which you will focus. You start to think to yourself, “What if I pick something and want to change it later?” Maybe it’s fear of limiting options more than anything.
Book Discussion: Deep Work, Part 2 – The Structure
Welcome to episode 142 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two Pre-Sales Technical Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode we discuss part of the first rule of deep work, delving into tips for supporting the structure and execution of deep work.
Original Recording Date: 10-02-2021
Topics – Book Discussion Format and Some Reminders, Deciding on Your Depth Philosophy, Creating a Ritual, Grand Gestures and Collaboration
00:59 – Book Discussion Format and Some Reminders
* This is part 2 of our review of Deep Work by Cal Newport. If you missed part 1 where we discussed what deep work is and its importance, check out Episode 141.
* This book came to our attention in two ways:
* Josh Duffney spoke about his use of deep work in Episode 123.
* We did a book goals episode earlier in the year that mentioned Deep Work as one of Nick’s goals for the year – Episode 108. He had read it some time close to the Josh Duffney episode but decided to read it again when John suggested we do a review of the book and its concepts.
* Here’s a reminder of Cal Newport’s definitions:
* Deep work – "Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate."
* Shallow work – "Non-cognitively demanding tasks that are often done while distracted which are easy to replicate and do not create a lot of value in the world"
* An update on the format of this show
* We originally thought we would cover all of part 2 of the book in this episode, but since there are many practical tips to discuss, there will be a few more episodes in addition to this one.
* We’ll summarize a part of the book and then answer the following questions:
* Do I believe this?
* Does this apply to me?
* Does this make me want to change behavior?
* What will I change as a result?
* We’re trying to model how we want to read books from this point on which are impactful to our careers and will likely do this from time to time.
* Part 2 of the book starts with rule # 1 – work deeply.
5:50 – Deciding on Your Depth Philosophy
Rule # 1 is work deeply, and that’s extremely general.
Ideally we would all have workspaces that enable us to do deep work, but that isn’t the case. With so many distractions, it is quite the opposite.
Decide on Your Depth Philosophy
* The monastic philosophy of deep work scheduling involves radically removing or minimizing the distractions that would take one away from deep work.
* Examples in the book are of people who went to a dedicated space away from the rest of the world (which probably is not that realistic for us).
* The practitioners of the bimodal philosophy of deep work scheduling divide their time between a period of monastic-like deeply focused work and a period of engagement without a priority on that focus.
Book Discussion: Deep Work, Part 1 – The Why
Welcome to episode 141 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two Pre-Sales Technical Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode we begin a book discussion of Deep Work by Cal Newport. We’ll help listeners understand what deep work is, why we should do it (based on the book), and share our reactions.
Original Recording Date: 09-26-2021
Topics – Show Format, Overall Reactions to the Book, Introduction to the Deep Work Hypothesis, Chapter 1 – Deep Work is Valuable, Chapter 2 – Deep Work is Rare, Chapter 3 – Deep Work is Meaningful
0:55 – Today’s Show Format
* This week we’re doing a book review episode on Deep Work by Cal Newport. This will be only part 1 and aligns with part 1 of the book.
* The book was referenced in Episode 108, our 2021 book goals, and in Episode 124 with Josh Duffney.
* For previous book reviews we’ve done see these episodes:
* Episode 87 – Book Discussion: Lencioni’s “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”
* Episode 90 – Book Discussion: The Inner Game of Stress by Gallwey, Hanzelik, and Horton
* Cal Newport is a computer science professor at Georgetown and has published several books including Digital Minimalism, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, and Deep Work (full list can be found here).
* He has also started a podcast called Deep Questions that is quite good, often giving advice based on listener questions from his books.
* At this point John has listed to about 40 of the episodes (in chronological order).
* The format of this show will be as follows:
* John and Nick will give reactions to the book overall.
* Then we will go back and react to each chapter, answer questions like
* Do I believe this?
* Does this apply to me?
* Does it make me want to change behavior?
* What will I change to align myself with this idea?
5:39 – Overall Reactions to the Book
* He found the book compelling, felt the hypothesis was valid. Once he started reading it was difficult to stop.
* John says the book definitely applies to him. Unless you concentrate on removing distraction, it is so easy to let it creep into your professional life. John felt like every description of a behavior was talking about him.
* It definitely makes John want to change. In fact, he wanted to make changes as soon as possible (very compelling).
* John has already started reorganizing how he works, what can interrupt him, and how he scheduled his time.
* Focusing your attention and not getting sidetracked is very difficult.
* When Nick thinks about past guests, he believes they have done deep work in some form or another, even if they didn’t call it deep work.
Great podcast for anyone with a career in tech!
This podcast is one of my favorites as it talks about the intersection of technology, work, and people. As someone deeply interested in leadership, business, and technology, I like how John and Nick blend all the topics together to be relevant to today’s audience. Plus, they’re funny too. Thank you John and Nick!
I stumbled across this show, started listening just to see what it was about and found myself not wanting to hit the stop button. Why? Because it’s great information and I found benefit. And besides, these guys are fun to listen to with their "nerdy" personalities, along with their expertise. Give it a listen!
Accelerate your career journey...
John and Nick bring straightforward, practical, and informative information about career advancement that is relevant not just to technology professionals, but to anybody looking to improve or enhance their careering. It has been awesome having access to specific, focused conversations from both of the hosts, and informative guests from across the industry.
If you are looking for help in sharpening your skills, getting insight navigating career changes, or just want to know more about career advancement, take a trip with Nerd Journey.