There are some business books where you get all the value from the one paragraph summary or even just the title. I suspect Cal Newports latest might be another example. I’ve heard him on a couple of podcasts discussing it and I can buy into his basic idea.

  • Avoid open loop communications tools that anyone can contact you at any time for anything.
  • Promote context specific tools which you work on asynchronously.

It’s basically trying to avoid the “So when shall we have a meeting” chain of messages where it takes four messages to get the ball moving and instead use something like calendly which helps close discussions faster.

My team has made this shift in a couple of areas (moving away from our real-time chat and too google docs/trello/figma). We still occasionally ping each other over real deadlines, but it just makes more sense to not get inundated with pings all the time.

Of course, there are some topics where the lesson is clear from the title, but that doesn’t make it easy. Ego is the enemy for example. Sometimes the value of the book is not the information, but the repeated exposure to the message.

It’s a very Christian idea I’ll admit. That we can get the idea instantly and see a transformation (justification) but still regress and require a ongoing change to truly inhibit an idea (sanctification). Perhaps my own faith background and its emphasis on reading the scripture explains my openness to such books.

Well, I didn’t expect that ending when I sat down to write.