Excellent vs Abysmal | Atomic Habits and Deep Work Review

in Hive Book Club2 months ago

This month I tried incorporating couple of self-help books next to the classics I usually read these days. In the recent past (2-7 years ago) all I did was read spiritual and books on self development and then at one point I got sick of it. It was like I gained everything from them that I could possibly assimilate and it was time to put it into practice and stop reading further. I was so much into the esoteric world that it became overwhelming.

Anyway, after a few years of rest I feel it's OK to get back to these genres and continue optimizing the living process. With that out of the way - I recently dived into two books that are considered essential in the world of self development - "Atomic Habits" and "Deep Work. And even though they are usually mentioned side by side as books similar in value - what I found is that the gap between them is as wide as it can get when it comes to value and quality.


Atomic Habits

Atomic habits is rightfully one of the most read books, perhaps in the entire genre. This is for people who are looking for guidance on changing specific habits, either adding positive ones or dropping bad ones, and it's well worth the read. I listened to the audio version read by the author which was very easy to follow and I recommend you do the same if you give it a go.

In essence, the book explores how small (atomic), everyday habits and changes can lead to exceptional results. It meticulously analyzes how habits shape our identity and the most effective ways to cultivate positive ones. It is full of fitting examples.

Here I'll mention some of the ideas that stuck with me. Design your environment to make good habits easier and bad habits harder. Make habits attractive, simple, and satisfying. Track habits using various methods to measure progress. Consistency is more important than intensity. If you miss a day, don't let it happen two days in a row — get back on track immediately. When starting new habits, keep them to about two minutes; it's a mistake to aim for too much too quickly. Results of habits aren't immediate but take time. Long-term success surpasses instant gratification. Set goals/tasks that are neither too easy nor too hard; the first bores, the latter exhausts. Avoid the comfort zone; constantly seek improvement. Align habits with your personality and genetics for easier execution. Make habits a lifestyle, not just a goal. The cycle never ends, but over time, habits become natural, and then you seek new challenges.

Of course, not all of these ideas are original, you could already see a lot of them in other books about creating habits. What sets this book apart is the way it's all organized and put together meaningfully and that it was the best breakdown of how habits work. It has everything a person needs, all in one place.

If you want to optimize certain aspects of your life, this book should help. The results, I believe, are undeniable if you put to action everything mentioned. I've always enjoyed exploring this topic, and I already had some views and opinions on the subject based on experience (which I don't always adhere to) — the book perfectly aligned with everything I thought and then and expanded upon it. I was skeptical about the book and thought I won't like it given that it's so popular, but it wasn't the case.

4.5/5 stars

Deep work

Well, what I feared about the previous one came true here. This was a waste of time. Already in the introduction of the book I realized it was going to be a big letdown but I stuck with it one third of the way hoping at least something valuable will come out of it, but in was all in vain. How this is considered one of the essential self-help books is beyond me.

What should have been a quick blog post was turned into a 300-page book, so the concepts are being repeated constantly and are even clashing together. The examples used to illustrate the points are poorly chosen and not convincing and the concepts even though advertised as groundbreaking and innovative are nothing new and have already been around. But I wouldn't mind if it's put together in a meaningful way which it isn't.

The main idea of the book is that long periods of deep uninterrupted work, free from social media, replying to messages, done in an isolated environment lead to the most productive work. It is valid but it doesn't apply to many people and their situations. Not everyone can disregard emails by the end of the day. Not everyone has the mansion in the middle of woods like Carl Jung and can work from there, nor it should be necessary for meaningful results.

The author is just throwing in a compilation of random people and commenting on their work in a hearsay manner, with no original research of any kind or an original thought. He brags about himself and praises people I personally don't admire.

If we are really talking about shallow work - then the best example would be the writing of this book. The irony.

1.5/5 stars


I know the Atómics Habit book and it seems to me a great book. About Deep work i did not knew and i agree with You in the point no everybody have the material conditions to follow that advaises but perhaps the central idea can be Taken. Perhaps we can built our own conditions to achieve that goal.

Yes, that's absolutely true and I am trying to incorporate in my own life. The writer was very self-centered and shallow though. The book was unnecessarily long and inefficient.

it's a mistake to aim for too much too quickly.

This right here is one of the major mistakes I make, I want the result immediately and when I don't see it I begin to get frustrated and feel like it's not working.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece dear friend😃

Patience is required, almost always we see the results of our work later over time. It's also good not to try and do so much in the beginning but start with few minutes when we are incorporating new habit, but make it consistent. :)

If you want to optimize certain aspects of your life, this book should help.

Now this got me interested, I'm gonna try reading this book.

It's kind of all-in-one book. Not groundbreaking but I think it's very well put together and effective.

From your review I guess am motivated. Although am not ready but I will surely make out time

The first one might be worth your time if you want to change some daily habits.

What should have been a quick blog post was turned into a 300-page book


It happens often with "modern" writers.

Yay! 🤗
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