Deep Questions with Cal Newport

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Cal Newport is a computer science professor and the New York Times bestselling author of Digital Minimalism and Deep Work. He writes about technology and the way it can both support and impede our efforts to live more meaningful, productive lives. In this podcast, he answers questions from his readers about work, technology, and the deep life.

Cal Newport


    • Dec 6, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 1h AVG DURATION
    • 153 EPISODES

    Listeners of Deep Questions with Cal Newport that love the show mention: thanks cal, cal newport, deep work, cal s podcast, love cal, listen to cal, time blocking, cal's, variants, listening to cal, deeper life, deep questions, meaningful life, work and life, concentration, minimalism, slipping, queries, recommend highly, productivity.



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    Latest episodes from Deep Questions with Cal Newport

    Ep. 153: Why Was Ian Malcom Sent to Jurassic Park?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 62:39

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.OPENING CHAT: The 5 Books I Read in November (Bonus Rant: Why did Jurassic Park need an assessment from a chaos theoretician?) [2:06]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS:- Is it worth becoming good at skills that you only need short term? [21:51]- How do I seem present online when working on side projects? [26:43]- Should I revise my weekly plan if things change? [36:09]- How should I manage reading I want to do? [39:29]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS:- How can I take a deep approach to networking? [46:21]- How can I focus on deep work with so much suffering around me? [50:59- How do I teach my students to not buy into the hyperactive hive-mind? [57:35]- What's your (Cal's) advice for “jack of all trades” people who want to become so good they can't be ignored? [59:37]Thanks to Jesse Miller for production, Jay Kerstens for the intro music, and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 152: LISTENER CALLS: The Magic of Autopilot Scheduling

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 45:01

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.OPENING CHAT: YouTube vs. Social MediaLISTENER CALLS:- The magic of autopilot scheduling [16:35]- Tips for finding a non-hyperactive good boss [23:18]- Alternatives to email-based workflows [27:24]- Taming Trello [35:07]- Study tactics [38:58] Thanks to Jesse Miller for production, Jay Kerstens for the intro music, and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 151: Should you move to the country?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 66:25

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: Should you move to the country?  [3:55]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS:- Is it worth time blocking for long projects? [20:11]- What's your (Cal's) opinion on bosses stopping by the office to chat?  [22:16]- How can I remember all of your advice? [25:39]- How do I avoid the feeling of just going through the motions? [32:41]- How do I better get started in the morning? [38:31]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS:- What's your advice for studying while also working in a warehouse? [44:38]- How can I improve my meditative walks? [50:10]- How can working parents maximize time spent with children? [54:12]- Are you so good you can't be ignored in computer science?  [58:40]- How do I choose a thesis topic? [1:03:41]  Thanks to Jesse Miller for production, Jay Kerstens for the intro music, and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 150: LISTENER CALLS: Finding More Family Time

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2021 54:30

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: When should tasks live on my calendar? [7:24]LISTENER CALLS:- Online presences for novelists  [14:13]- Not getting stuff done outside of work [26:10]- Managing team workload [32:19]- Finding more family time [39:37]- Leveraging career capital early in one's career [47:48]Thanks to Jesse Miller for production, Jay Kerstens for the intro music, and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 149: How Do I Tame Email?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 69:55

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: How do I tame email? [9:51]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS:- How to accomplish deep work in the context of meeting overload? [29:09]- What is difference between the productivity funnel and capture/configure/control? [36:06]- Do you (Cal) have a filing system for emails? [40:18]- What time blocking granularity is best? [42:53]- How do you (Cal) manage projects vs tasks on your board system? [44:52]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS:- How does one get a sense of satisfaction from goals that continue ad infinitum? [50:33]- How soon after the birth of a child is it realistic to start employing time blocking? [55:29]- How should one combine having young children and pursuing newfound ambitions? [59:24]- How should I think about career capital when taking time off to be a stay-at-home parent? [1:03:19]Thanks to Jesse Miller for production, Jay Kerstens for the intro music, and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 148: LISTENER CALLS: Decoding the Productive Pause

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 46:21

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: Decoding the Productive Pause [2:43]LISTENER CALLS:- Finding a research interests.  [10:00]- Trading moments of your life for money. [13:23] - Scheduling more deep work. [23:14]- Handling the difficult switch from work to leisure and then back again.  [27:30]            - Creating temporal Eudamonia Machines.  [32:31]      - Leading a new team away from email.  [39:14]Thanks to Jesse Miller for production, Jay Kerstens for the intro music, and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep.147: Why Did I Never Join Social Media?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 66:39

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP WORK QUESTIONS:- Are some people more suited for deep work than others?  [4:54]- How do I tame post-shutdown excitement?   [8:33]- How to I deal with ambiguous deep work?  [14:41]- Can you  (Cal) elaborate on the Friction/Flow/Finalization project pathway?  [17:41] - How do you time-block plan in a company obsessed with last minute meetings?  [23:21]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS:- Are you (Cal) a control freak?  [41:16]- What have you (Cal) learned from the pandemic?  [45:07]- Would you (Cal) do your CS research and writing if you couldn't share it?  [51:54]- How did you (Cal) never get tempted to join a social media platform?  [56:11]- Is the monastic life the ultimate deep life?  [59:24]Thanks to Jesse Miller for production, Jay Kerstens for the intro music, and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 146: LISTENER CALLS: A Revolution is Coming in Knowledge Work

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2021 51:11

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.A conversation with Producer Jesse about my next book [1:48]LISTENER CALLS:- Twitter FOMO for a journalist. [16:40]- Tracking small amounts of time. [25:12]- My quarterly planning process. [30:07]- Tedious tasks with an entry level job. [34:22]- Timeblock planners spiral bindings. [38:24]- Struggling to balance teaching with research (PLUS: a bonus rant about the coming knowledge work revolution). [42:15]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 145: Is the Deep Life Compatible with Serving Humanity?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 55:45

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: My October reading list [1:49]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS: - How do you avoid burn out from deep work? [11:55] - Are your (Cal's) systems for tracking deep work and for tracking GTD projects independent? [13:59] - Does studying “on the go” incur cognitive burden? [18:07] - What category of things do you track on your (Cal's) Trello boards? [26:42] - What skills are most important for an undergraduate looking to become a professor? [32:12]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS: - What would you recommend to a doctoral student without a mentor?  [36:53] - How do you balance physical and digital tools in productivity?  [39:16] - Do you suggest reading for quality or quantity with non-fiction books?  [41:34] - How do you apply your ideas to make sure your family can pursue a deeper life?  [43:25] - Is the deep life compatible with helping humanity?  [48:27]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 144: LISTENER CALLS: Is Overload Necessary?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 54:03

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: Is Overload Necessary? (Epic rant alert) [3:53]LISTENER CALLS: - Beyond the most important task of the day. [27:00]  - "Pseudo-blocking" household admin. [31:53]  - A doctor struggling to find leisure time. [36:47] - Defanging the internet with strategic browser plug-ins. [44:26] - Applying sprints outside of the tech sector. [49:35]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 143: Is the Era of Social Media Ending?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 54:58

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: What would you say you do here? [3:05]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS: - What time management strategies do you suggest if I work a 9-5 and want to pursue master's or phd? [13:32] - How to overcome productivity pr0n?  - Lifehacker addict is hung up on the fomo (fear of missing out) of potential shortcuts. [19:51]- could save time - How to time block deep work while juggling the demands of "in the moment questions". [25:03]- Pharmacist manager gets bogged down with constant questions despite needing time to do deep work. - How do you differentiate productive meditation with "day-dreaming mode" to solve problems?  [32:28]        - Relaxing the pre-frontal cortex - What are your thoughts on scaling up for sole proprietors? [35:37]- A digital marketer thinking of outsourcing for book keeping, etc.DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS: - What do you do/read to keep the path of living a deep life?  [38:57] - What's your class policy regarding your students and their phone use?  [42:38] - How do you combat confirmation bias as an author and academic?  [44:58]  - How do you balance reading new books and re-reading books (especially past ones that have proven valuable)?Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 142: LISTENER CALLS: Making Hard Work Routine

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 55:09

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: On Facebook, Misinformation, and the Death of Collaborative Curation [2:59]LISTENER CALLS: - My thoughts on speed reading. [21:29] - My system for writing New Yorker articles (routinizing demanding work). [24:43] - The importance of media for academic careers. [34:07] - Re-assessing linked note-taking. [40:02] - The absurdity of live study streams. [44:12] - Time blocking without a time-block planner. [51:21]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 141: Is the Era of Social Media Ending?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 69:25

    DEEP DIVE: Is the Era of Social Media Ending? [2:37]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS: - Did COVID-19 closures change my (Cal's) thoughts on my working situation? [18:01] - Should I stick with management consulting? [37:06] - How do I lead my organization away from email? [40:17] - How do I pick a specialization in a broad field? [44:55]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS: - Do I (Cal) use my smartphone for directions and photos? [48:48] - How do I choose my minor? [51:37] - What is something I (Cal) have changed my opinion on in recent years? [55:00] - Should I publish this book? [56:53] - Do I (Cal) regret becoming a public intellectual? [1:02:28]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 140: LISTENER CALLS: Frustration and the Deep Life

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 48:08

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: Smartphones and moral panics. [3:43]LISTENER CALLS: - Scheduling when you've fallen behind. [12:29] - Squandering autonomy. [18:06] - Hacking habits and the shortcomings of raw discipline. [26:11] - Tenure and valuable skills. [31:38] - Adding more to your plate without it tipping over. [36:24] - Frustration and the Deep Life (and an update on my next book). [42:41]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 139: Am I Good at Time Management or Just Lazy?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 63:31

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: Will Offices Survive the Pandemic? [6:01]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - How do I practice my writing better? [22:07] - Is it harder to write a dissertation or a book? [25:08] - Will 10-minute sitting breaks destroy my concentration? [29:04] - Am I good at time management or just lazy? [35:52] - How do I get the most out of an assistant who handles my inbox? [40:24]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - How do I structure all my leisure time when I have no kids? [44:13] - Is digital nomadism making a comeback? [46:53] - Are RSS feeds a good alternative to social media? [52:37] - How do I find fellow Deep Questions listeners to hang out with? [58:49]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 138: LISTENER CALLS: How I Read So Much

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 51:03

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast. - Interacting with potential clients while avoiding constant distraction. [2:10] - Self-promotion without social media. [8:21] - Dealing with an overflowing "to read" folder. [13:19] - Correcting weekly plan drift. [18:13] - The secrets of my high-volume reading. [22:47] - Personal vs. organizational productivity. [27:29] - Balancing deep and shallow work. [36:10]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 137: Why Am I Uncomfortable With Facebook Backlash?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 64:18

    DEEP DIVE: Why Am I Uncomfortable With Facebook Backlash? [1:16]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS: - How do I work deeper in a job that is inherently fractured? [17:29] - How do I switch tasks without everything going to hell? [23:21] - How do I build relationships with colleagues if I prioritize deep work? [26:50] - How can I reduce the craziness of my college schedule? [33:39]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS: - How can I relaxed if I'm extremely driven? [38:49] - Can on lead a life as a recognized intellectual outside of academia? [42:48] - How do I get better at thinking critically? [47:38]

    Ep. 136: LISTENER CALLS: Reversing Burnout

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2021 54:13

    OPENING: Some Thoughts on Slow Productivity. [0:21]LISTENER CALLS - Taming client email as a busy lawyer.[3:44] - How I maintain my systems. [11:42] - The danger of too much productivity. [[17:02] - Benjamin Franklin, tedious Harvard types, and awe. [22:54] - Students and theory. [34:12] - Reversing burnout. [38:05]

    Ep. 135: Is Screen Time Bad?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2021 51:07

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP WORK QUESTIONS  - How do virtual office hours work with multiple participants? [4:26]  - Is time spent in front of a computer screen bad (bonus rant: we work too much!)? [8:18]  - How do I remember goals when I'm in danger of distraction? [14:20]  - Why do I ignore monthly planning? [16:26]  - How do I survive running two companies? [18:08]  - How do I make my YouTube channel popular? [22:43]  - How should I train new hires? [27:09]  - How do I avoid getting stuck waiting for a needed response? [30:43]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS  - Can I (Cal) give feedback to all submitted questions [32:48]  - Can my (Cal) philosophy be summarized as "deep intentionalism"? [34:33]  - Which phones and phone apps do you use? [37:18]  - What are some ideas for keystone habits in the creativity bucket? [38:41]  - How should a college student approach digital minimalism? [43:17]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 134: LISTENER CALLS: Returning to Deep Work After the Pandemic

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2021 57:06


    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.RANT FOLLOW-UP: A doctor's perspective on kids and smartphones. [0:35]GUEST CHAT: Scott Young stops by to talk about our new online course. [5:00]LISTENER CALLS: - Returning to regular deep work after the pandemic. [22:06] - Deciding what tasks to execute. [29:34] - Integrating your values into your daily activities. [34:08] - Lessons from Virginia Woolf. [39:44] - Phone use degrading reading ability. [44:28]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.


    Ep. 133: How Do I Defeat Distraction?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 65:57

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: Is the Desire to Produce Negative? [5:14]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - What are the most popular workflows used to escape excessive email? [17:07] - How do I read academic papers effectively? [27:40] - How much studying is enough for a college student? [31:38] - How do I defeat the allure of distraction? (Plus: Why Soto should get more MVP votes than Harper) [35:17] - Is it too inefficient to copy a time block schedule into Outlook? [36:51] - Are the processes from A World Without Email productivity pr0n? [38:59]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - Why do you (Cal) not pursue FIRE? [42:52] - How do you avoid confirmation bias? [49:50] - Should I use TikTok because that's where people are? [54:07] - Is deep work a philosophy? [55:26]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 132: LISTENER CALLS: Managing Non-Work Tasks

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 23, 2021 52:10

    OPENING RANT: Facebook Knows It's Hurting Teenagers [3:22]LISTENER CALLS: - Interfacing with the hive mind. [17:45] - The relationship between tasks and daily plans. [24:58] - My weekly planning ritual. [31:04] - Discovering books. [39:42] - How I manage my non-work tasks. [46:25]

    Ep. 131: The Elements of the Deep Life

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2021 56:23

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm hiring! [0:20]DEEP DIVE: The Elements of the Deep Life [3:51]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - How should I get started in a new remote work job? [16:56] - How I time block a purely reactive job? [21:56] - Should I bother capturing tasks that are fast to complete? [25:26] - How do I tame multiple concurrent projects? [29:00] - How do I schedule optional deep work in an exhausting job? [31:58]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - How much time is left for family after goals and deep work? [38:32] - Is there such a thing as deep fun? [41:20] - I am addicted to my phone. What do I do? [43:24] - How do I make a big life decision when I have lots of options? [49:11]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 130: LISTENER CALLS: Leadership vs. Availability

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2021 41:59

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.- Balancing availability and depth as a leader. [5:12]- Being available to students without being overwhelmed. [12:08]- Rapid fire questions (each answer under 1 minute). [18:18]     -- Working eight hours in a row.     -- Quarterly plan format.     -- Reading metrics.- Sticking to a schedule once made. [26:36]- Keeping up with an academic literature. [30:24]- Taking breaks between big projects. [35:20]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 129: How Do I Get My Kid Off His Smartphone?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2021 58:49

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: Is Organization the Opiate of the Knowledge Work Masses? [1:02]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - How do I choose skills to work deeply on? [15:18] - What if I don't know what I want to do with my career or life? [20:11] - How do I stop my students from overwhelming me right before deadlines? [23:38] - When should you say "no" to interesting projects? [27:13] - How do I preserve deep work now that I'm back in a real offie? [30:08]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - What are my (Cal) plans regarding my next book? [40:50] - Would I (Cal) consider interviewing my wife? [41:32] - What are the origins of my (Cal) ideas on leisure? [44:12] - How do we get our 13-year-old off his iPhone? [50:31]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 128: LISTENER CALLS: The Art of "No"

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 9, 2021 54:40

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.OPENING: My new reading habit [6:53]LISTENER CALLS: - Retaining information from books. [11:16] - The value of an agile personal productivity system. [18:33] - An impractical vision for a highly productive building. [26:16] - Marketing a course without social media. [37:45] - The art of "no". [43:14]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 127: Does Productivity Diminish Leisure? (with Brad Stulberg)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2021 87:58


    In today's episode, I am joined by longtime friend of the show Brad Stulberg, who has a new book out called THE PRACTICE OF GROUNDEDNESS (https://thegrowtheq.com/books/groundedness/).Brad helps me answer your questions on topics including the decision to start a company, recovering from a pandemic-induced demotion, preventing productivity from diminishing leisure, and dealing with inertia. Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.


    Ep. 126: A Tour of My Home Offices

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2021 38:33

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.- My home office setup. [3:59]- Working while tired. [12:29]- Writing three hours a day. [17:19]- Details of my strategic plans. [26:09]- Ignoring strategic plans. [31:08]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 125: What is Discipline (and How Do I Get It?)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2021 49:43

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: How Reachable Should We Be? [1:48]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - What should I do if I finish a time block early? [8:31] - How do I work deeply at home with a crying newborn? [12:57] - How I work deeply while taking care of a child full time? [17:54] - How do I manage a shared mailbox with my team? [23:14]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - What is discipline (and how do I get it)? [31:49] - Should I take a harder job to get better faster? [39:35] - What about people who don't want to do deep work? [43:21]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 124: LISTENER CALLS: Preserving Depth in the Vast Shallows

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021 42:52

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast. - Organizing notes on technical articles and books. [3:00] - Finding depth amidst a vast shallows. [8:35] - Should I get an MBA if it's free? [24:12] - Optimal counts of deep projects. [33:30] - The value habit. [36:37]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 123: What Is My Daily Routine?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2021 55:27

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - Does deep work apply to everybody? [5:15] - Who watches your kids when you do deep work? [12:48] - How do I design a deeper work environment from scratch? [19:23] - What should I focus on as a postdoc? [23:39] - Do I (Cal) really not work in the evening? [28:12]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS  - How much deep leisure should I schedule if I have kids? [36:40] - How can I apply deep work in retirement? [41:28] - What is my (Cal) daily routine? [44:36]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 122: LISTENER CALLS: Figuring Out Your Values

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2021 44:48

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast. - Naturally disorganized people. [3:23] - Coping with highly reactionary schedules. [11:07] - Digital versus analog weekly plans. [16:32] - Summer reading (plus: my idea for a novel). [21:29]  - Prioritizing friendly connections. [32:25] - Figuring out your values. [36:59]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 121: Is Writing Everyday Overrated? (with Srini Rao)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2021 104:40

    In today's episode, I am joined in studio by my longtime podcasting friend Srini Rao, host of the incredible Unmistakable Creative podcast (https://unmistakablecreative.com/), on which I've been a guest many times.Srini helps me answer your questions on both deep work and the deep life. We also talk about his podcasting company recently raising a series A round of venture capital funding, and what it was like appearing on the Netflix reality show Indian Matchmaker.I apologize that I don't have timestamps for the individual questions for this episode. In the moment, I forgot to take notes. In future collaborative Q&A episodes I'll make sure to get the questions written down so I can deliver the timestamps to you here.Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 120: Students' Diminishing Focus

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2021 33:01

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast. - Saving a software team from the hyperactive hive mind. [3:21] - Working from near home on a student budget [6:18] - Students' diminishing focus. [13:10] - Useful academic work. [24:15] - Deep work subverting deep leisure. [29:09]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 119: Does Accomplishment Require Overload?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 69:37

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP DIVE: Does Accomplishment Require Overload? [3:16]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - How do you figure out what to get good at? [15:35] - Should I quit teaching to become a lifestyle coach? [23:24] - Why did I (Cal) become a computer scientist? [28;39] - How do I stop my firm from killing itself with email? [34:07] - As the multipurpose nature of computers a problem? [39:23] - What do I (Cal) think about four day work weeks? [41:30]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - Should I reschedule miss deep work for later in the day? [46:56] - Do you (Cal) ever fix your big picture plans once in motion? [48"37] - Should I apply 4DX to my deep life buckets? [56:09] - How does one balance deep work with a partner who is equally as ambitious? [1:01:42]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 118: LISTENER CALLS: A Primer On My Planning Philosophy

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2021 55:47

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.- Stopping excess emails from students. [8:39]- Finding ideas for books. [16:46]- The nuances of weekly planning. [19:58]- A primer on my value-driven planning philosophy. [29:46]- Deep work for politicians. [43:47]- Inefficient workflows. [49:53]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 117: Should I Quit My Job to Become a Writer?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2021 80:26

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - How do I find free time as a working mother? [2:10] - How do I time block unpredictable support tasks? [13:56] - How many items are on my (Cal's) task lists and how often do I review? [18:51] - How do I stay productive without clear deadlines? [27:09] - How do get started writing? [32:33] - How do I know if an idea is good? [37:56]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - How do I integrate uncertainty into my goal setting? [43:01] - How should I configure my smartphone notifications? (Rant Alert) [52:18] - Should I quit my design job to become a writer? (Rant Alert #2) [57:50] - How do I make progress on meaningful goals in difficult circumstances? [1:09:37]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 116: RE-READING: Shop Class as Soulcraft (with Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2021 88:02


    In this episode, Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness join me to talk through Matt Crawford's classic 2009 book: "Shop Class as Soulcraft." We get into its impact on our own thinking, attempt to deconstruct its popularity, and seriously consider quitting our jobs to repair motorcycles. For more on Brad and Steve: https://wthegrowtheq.comThanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.


    Ep. 115: JORDAN HARBINGER: What is the Future of Podcasting?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2021 103:39

    In this episode, podcast maven Jordan Harbinger joins me for a collaborative deep dive on the topic of podcasting. We take a close look at the current state of this technology, including a look at specific numbers: How much money are people making? How many people are making that money? Why is SMARTLESS worth $20 million a year to Amazon? We then tackle the future of the industry. Will independent audio-only podcasting as we know it today still be around in 5 years, or is this just a step toward a radical new configuration of the media landscape? (I have a theory on this which I run by Jordan for his opinion.)We get into it all...For more on Jordan and his massively successful show: https://www.jordanharbinger.com/Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 114: LISTENER CALLS: Growing a Podcast Without Social Media

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2021 38:27

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.- Balancing necessary shallow and important deep work. [3:23]- Increasing reading retention. [9:556]- Keeping track of goals or ideas for future pursuit. [13:59]- Growing a podcast without social media. [19:32]- Seasonal breaks from work. [30:51]- Community bucket struggles. [33:54]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 113: How Do I Become a Deep Life Radical?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2021 79:39

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.BOOK REPORT: The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin [1:30]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - How do I eliminate the hive mind from interaction with other departments? [13:36] - How do I capture small tasks so I don't forget them? [23:23] - How do I (Cal) feel about career counselors? [29:31] - Are there professions for which time blocking doesn't work? [33:42] - How do I organize my tasks without using task boards? [37:55] - Should I build a radical setting to support the deep life? [39:50] - How do I become the right person to write a book? [42:52]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - Can a digital minimalist use a fitness tracker? [54:33] - When should I switch from work to leisure? [56:27] - How do I get back on track with a deep life after a hard pandemic? [59:24] - What is my (Cal's) top piece of parenting advice? [1:02:04] - Cal's Curmudgeon Corner: How do I find meaning beyond simply expressing myself? [1:05:01]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 112: LISTENER CALLS: The Productivity Baby Steps

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 8, 2021 43:39

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast. - Breaking up big projects into small tasks. [4:19]- The productivity baby steps (epic answer alert). [8:58]- Taming late night meetings. [26:02]- Best book of mine for college students. [34:45]- Shutdown routines with unpredictable schedules. [38:28]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 111: How Do I Tame Distracting Thoughts?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2021 69:25

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.FROM THE NEWSLETTER: Notes on Quentin Tarantino's Writing Routine [3:39]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - How fluid are my quarterly plans? [17:00] - What is a good approach to take notes in meetings? [19:59] - What do you include ads o your podcast? [23:31] - How do I install a deep work mindset in my team? [25:25] - How do you (Cal) use Evernote? [32:37] - Am I planning an app version of my time-block planner? [35:30] - Any tips to help me actually do the things I have time blocked? [37:21]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - How do I stop embracing my distracting thoughts? [45:37] - How does a high school student find things to be interested in? [55:24] - How do I get started writing on an already popular topic? [59:42] - How does deep work relate to Dave Epstein's idea go Generalists vs. Specialists? [1:05:45]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 110: LISTENER CALLS: Making the Deep Life Happen

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2021 35:43

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast. - Why people get mad at me. [1:21]- Scheduling reading. [7:06]- Semester goals and time block planners. [11:41]- McKeown's effortlessness vs. Newport's automation. [25:05]- Translating the deep life into concrete action. [30:23]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 109: How Much Should I Read?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2021 68:39

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.BOOK REPORT: The Square and the Tower [3:6]DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - What should I do if I like my job but dislike the industry? [11:41] - How hard should I push back against a shallow company culture? [16:15] - Is productivity only for people with certain personality types? [25:05] - What is the best strategy for an aspiring academic? [27:30] - Should I ask experts or learn on my own? [29:23] - Can you tell me more about the CIA's mail tubes? [34:45] - How do I get on the New York Times bestseller list? [40:36]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - Is there value in keeping a daily record of significant activity? [49:50] - Can I pursue the deep life if I have mental health issues? [56:06] - Are there wrong ways to pursue the deep life? [1:00:22] - How much time do I (Cal) spend reading? [1:04:09]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 108: LISTENER CALLS: Becoming Productive

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2021 44:46

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast. - The hyperactive hive mind and the return to the office. [2:57]- Becoming productive. [12:23]- Time tracking apps. [24:51]- Scheduling continuous projects. [27:19]- Struggling with time blocking. [36:51]- Working on problems past when it's useful. [41:47]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 107: How Do I Stay Motivated on Long-Term Projects?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2021 60:36

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP WORK QUESTIONS:- How do I cultivate urgency for long-term projects? [2:49]- How do I learn more about deliberate practice? [11:54]- How do deal with an "open door" policy at work? [17:06]- How can I return to academia after taking an industry job? [19:57]- Does a commitment to deep work block me from management? [21:37]- How do I avoid distractions when working from home? [24:56]- Can condensed deep work rituals still be effective? [27:45]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS:- How should I use boredom? [37:09]- Will organized schedules undermine my social life? [45:42]- What is my (Cal) take on Clubhouse? [52:11]- How can someone with few resources cultivate meaningful leisure? [56:48]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 106: LISTENER CALLS: Art Without Social Media

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2021 39:11

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.  - Balancing work and school. [3:34] - Deep work and ADHD. [8:28] - Building career capital as an account executive. [15:15] - Do I know Naval Ravikant? P22:35] - Art without social media. [27:31] - Pursuing a PhD purely for passion. [33:53]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music and Mark Miles for mastering.

    Ep. 105: Should I Read the News?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2021 64:51


    DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - How do you apply deep work when your job is entirely shallow? [4:37] - Is batching emails a few times a day a good practice? [12:20] - Why are some tips for managing the flow of emails and texts from clients? [19:54] - What am I (Cal) working during my teaching sabbatical this spring? [26:45] - What are the ideal ratios for writing, thinking, and reading in a day? [29:47] - Can I (Cal) elaborate on how I track deep work? [34:17] - How do you avoid easing up on the gas after tenure? [35:58] - How do I teach my kids to appreciate career capital? [40:08]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - How does Cal Newport handle stress? [46:44] - how much news should I be reading? [51:55] - Is there a connection between Stephen Covey's saw and Newport's buckets? [57:59] - How do you (Cal) deal with failure and setbacks? [1:00:21]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music.


    Ep. 104: LISTENER CALLS: Saying "No" Without Saying "No"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2021 42:17

    Below are the topics covered in today's listener calls mini-episode (with timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.   - Balancing the unpredictable demands of a small business. [3:16] - Taming emails when it's hard to say "no". [10:02] - Notebook overkill. [20:47] - On adverting and social media.[29:52] - My thoughts on video games. [35:45]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music.

    Ep. 103: What is the Relationship Between Order and Well-Being?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2021 65:59

    Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to calnewport.com/podcast.DEEP WORK QUESTIONS - How do you do deep work when you're not in the mood? [3:48] - How do you mange time for side hustle projects? [13:38] - What future technologies will have the biggest positive impact on focus and attention? [16:51] - How do I avoid prioritizing other peoples' task needs above my own? [24:28] - How do I build career capital without guidance? [30:12]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - How do I stop my social media relapses? [43:50] - How do I remain committed to the deep life? [48:28] - What is the relationship between order and well-being? [52:56] - How do I (Cal) track my values? [1:00:45]Thanks to Jay Kerstens for the intro music

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