“Consider instead a system that externalizes work. Following the lead of software developers, we might use virtual task boards, where every task is represented by a card that specifies who is doing the work, and is pinned under a column indicating its status. With a quick glance, you can now ascertain everything going on within your team and ask meaningful questions about how much work any one person should tackle at a time. With this setup, optimization becomes possible.”
I found the history in this article really interesting, but I'm not so sure I agree with the conclusion. As someone who helps make software, I think it's very easy to LARP your job at times, to spend more time updating things and making it look like you're doing things than actually doing things. One other caveat that I have to note: Newport talks so much about deep work and time blocking and I can't help but wonder if he has a great deal of support in order to do that, meaning someone else is seeing to a lot of the details of life (food, cooking, cleaning) and therefore he doesn't have to.