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Deep Questions with Cal Newport
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Deep Questions with Cal Newport

Author: 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.
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In this episode of Deep Questions I answer reader questions about organizing massive projects, taming IM, and elaborating the books I would include in the Deep Life Canon.To submit your own questions, sign up for my mailing list at calnewport.com. You can also submit audio questions at https://www.speakpipe.com/CalNewportPlease consider subscribing (which helps iTunes rankings) and leaving a review or rating (which helps new listeners decide to try the show).Here’s the full list of topics tackled in today’s episode along with the timestamps:DEEP DIVE: The Deep Reset, Part 1WORK QUESTIONS - The limits of deliberate practice? [12:09] - Getting started on massive projects. [20:11]  - Social media and the dissemination of academic research. [25:04] - Digital time blocking. [31:59] - My opinion on GTD-style contexts. [35:50]   - When a job requires social media use. [40:01] TECHNOLOGY QUESTIONS - Taming IM. [42:13] - How to attend online classes. [50:08] - Breaking a YouTube addiction. [1:00:30] - Controlling heavy RSS use. [1:03:40] - On the phenomenology of technology. [1:06:31] DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS - Deciding when to give up on a book [1:12:25]. - Dealing with an overwhelming amount of advice. [1:14:05] - Living deeply in high school. [1:17:30]  - The Deep Life Canon. [1:23:47]Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this mini-episode, I answer audio questions from listeners asking for advice about how best to tune-up their productivity and work habits in a moment of increased distraction and disruption.You can submit your own audio questions at speakpipe.com/calnewport.Here are the topics we cover:* Time blocking versus calendar planning [6:07]* Deep work for professional athletes [12:24]* Capturing non-urgent ideas [21:33] * Distracted by rumination [35:09]* Prioritizing interesting projects [43:17]Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this episode of DEEP QUESTIONS we're joined by a guest host: Brad Stulberg.Brad is a bestselling writer who focuses on human performance. He's known for his books PEAK PERFORMANCE and THE PASSION PARADOX, as well as for his popular "Do It Better" column for Outside Magazine.We go deep on Brad's story, using it to illustrate timeless points on burnout, recovery, transformation, and intentional living. We also talk about the unexpected television commercial that helped vault his first book to success and, of course, answer your questions.You can find out more about Brad at https://www.bradstulberg.com/To submit your own questions for this podcast, sign up for my mailing list at calnewport.com.Thank you to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this mini-episode, I answer audio questions from listeners asking for advice about how best to tune-up their productivity and work habits in a moment of increased distraction and disruption.You can submit your own audio questions at speakpipe.com/calnewport.Here are the topics we cover: Opening: When did productivity become personal? (My new article for The New Yorker.)* Becoming so good they can't ignore you as a teacher [19:07]* Finding focused after receiving emotional emails [30:18]* Scheduling deep work amidst unpredictable childcare [43:19]* Fitting a large amount of leisure into a small amount of free time [52:19]Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this episode of Deep Questions I answer reader questions about dealing my Trello setup, reducing student screen time, and our collective need for a "deep reset," among many other topics.To submit your own questions, sign up for my mailing list at calnewport.com. You can submit audio questions at https://www.speakpipe.com/CalNewportPlease consider subscribing (which helps iTunes rankings) and leaving a review or rating (which helps new listeners decide to try the show).Here’s the full list of topics tackled in today’s episode along with the timestamps:WORK QUESTIONS* Entry level jobs and shallow work [11:24]* The future of bullshit jobs [16:25]* Staying in the zone over the weekend [23:09]* Deciding what to read as an academic [26:45]* Calibrating academic service [29:15]* Revisiting my 2009 advice on grad school [34:43]* Deep work with a new kid [44:50]TECHNOLOGY QUESTIONS* My Trello setup [50:06]* Reducing student screen time [54:46]* Boredom versus high quality diversions [58:37]* Note-taking apps [1:07:25]* Agile methodologies and deep work [1:10:11]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS* Young mother seeking better friends [1:17:05] * Young father seeking improvement [1:21:36] * Kids versus career [1:27:45]* Thoughts on the Astros [1:29:23]* My call for a “Deep Reset” [1:29:48] Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this mini-episode, I answer audio questions from listeners asking for advice about how best to tune-up their productivity and work habits in a moment of increased distraction and disruption.You can submit your own audio questions at speakpipe.com/calnewport.Here are the topics we cover: * Prioritizing tasks when you have too much to do [9:28]* Making the most of the weekend [18:53]* Balancing my academic and writing obligations [26:42]* Improving reading habits [35:25]* Resisting radicalization (sermon alert) [41:07]Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this episode of Deep Questions I answer reader questions about dealing with unproductive days, avoiding curated content fatigue, and the importance of developing character, among many other topics.To submit your own questions, sign up for my mailing list at calnewport.com. You can submit audio questions at https://www.speakpipe.com/CalNewportPlease consider subscribing (which helps iTunes rankings) and leaving a review or rating (which helps new listeners decide to try the show).Here’s the full list of topics tackled in today’s episode along with the timestamps:OPENING: The terribleness of my recent experiment with constant online news consumption.WORK QUESTIONS* Dealing with unproductive days [11:50] * My system versus David Allen’s systems [15:16] * The timeline for developing deep habits [22:35]* Assessing your own career capital [31:17] * The road to academic superstardom [36:05] * Ideal number of working hours [45:28] * Building a reasonable schedule for an unreasonable workload [51:32]TECHNOLOGY QUESTIONS* Avoiding curated content fatigue [53:41]* Capture technology [58:22]* The plan for this podcast [1:00:19]* Music and concentration [1:07:01]* Instant messaging and distraction [1:08:02] DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS* Essentialism versus the deep life [1:13:48] * Deep home life [1:16:57] * My ideal work environment [1:23:37]* Character and the deep life [1:27:58] Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this special episode of DEEP QUESTIONS, I rebroadcast a conversation recorded earlier this summer, featuring me and the bestselling author Greg McKeown. It originally aired on Greg's fantastic podcast, WHAT'S ESSENTIAL (https://gregmckeown.com/podcast/).You probably know Greg from his influential 2014 book, ESSENTIALISM, which I recommend all the time. In this conversation, we talk about unplugging from distraction, the art of doing less (without accomplishing less), and how to improve your ability to focus.I hope you enjoy it. Thanks to our sponsors Magic Spoon (use magicspoon.com/CAL to receive free shipping) and Blinkist (use blinkist.com/DEEP for a 7 day free trial).Also thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this episode of Deep Questions I answer reader questions about selling your first book (and end up accidentally ranting about publishing industry misconceptions), going deep when your spouse is defiantly shallow, and day dreaming about my ideal schedule, among many other topics.To submit your own questions, sign up for my mailing list at calnewport.com. You can submit audio questions at https://www.speakpipe.com/CalNewportPlease consider subscribing (which helps iTunes rankings) and leaving a review or rating (which helps new listeners decide to try the show).Here’s the full list of topics tackled in today’s episode along with the timestamps:WORK QUESTIONS * Planning unpredictable work [2:27] * On the supposed upsides of procrastination [12:02] * Cutting back on academic obligations [14:43] * Dropping out of grad school [18:02] * Publishing your first book (rant alert) [21:07] * Getting serious about personal productivity [30:35]TECHNOLOGY QUESTIONS * A look at my own phone usage [37:36] * On cannabis and deep work [40:16] * When your spouse is mad at you for reducing technology [47:12] * Rethinking education post-pandemic [53:09]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS  * Dream schedules for lovers of depth [1:01:01] * Staying motivated when school is online [1:03:51] * FIRE and the deep life [1:09:3]Links to Special Offers from our Sponsors: - blinkist.com/DEEP - magicspoon.com/CALThanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this mini-episode, I answer audio questions from listeners asking for advice about how best to tune-up their productivity and work habits in a moment of increased distraction and disruption.You can submit your own audio questions at speakpipe.com/calnewport.Here are the topics we cover: * Notebooks for personal reflections vs. business organization. [5:50]* Elite quarterly planning tactics. [10:18]* Diminishing distracting day dreams. [18:37]* Combating burn out. [32:58]Special Offer Links from Sponsors: - magicspoon.com/CALThanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this episode of DEEP QUESTIONS we're joined by a guest host: David Epstein.David is the New York Times bestselling author of THE SPORTS GENE and RANGE. I probably get asked questions about RANGE more than any other book by listeners of this podcast, so I knew we had to get David on the show to share his wisdom.We talk about his career, his (short-lived) public feud with Malcolm Gladwell, and his research habits, but most importantly, we go deep on his breakthrough ideas about skills, practice, and meaning in careers -- answering many of your questions as well as a few of my own.You can find out more about David at https://davidepstein.com.To submit your own questions for this podcast, sign up for my mailing list at calnewport.com.Thanks to our sponsor Magic Spoon (use magicspoon.com/CAL to receive free shipping).Thank you to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this mini-episode, I answer audio questions from listeners asking for advice about how best to tune-up their productivity and work habits in a moment of increased distraction and disruption.You can submit your own audio questions at speakpipe.com/calnewport.Here are the topics we cover: * The difference between daily and weekly planning [10:08]* Fighting shallow work in medicine. [16:44]* On the value of taking off a work day each week. [24:14]* Maximizing home offices. [30:29]* Scheduling deep work with a chronic illness [43:08]* Taming jobs with large hour demands. [49:32]Special Offer Sponsor Links: - grammarly.com/DEEP - indeed.com/QUESTIONS - foursigmatic.com/DEEPThanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this episode of Deep Questions I answer reader questions about avoiding the planning fallacy, my thoughts on Inbox Zero, and the limits of the ethical technology movement, among many other topics.To submit your own questions, sign up for my mailing list at calnewport.com. You can submit audio questions at https://www.speakpipe.com/CalNewportPlease consider subscribing (which helps iTunes rankings) and leaving a review or rating (which helps new listeners decide to try the show).Here’s the full list of topics tackled in today’s episode along with the timestamps:OPENING: The three stages of hard creative work.WORK QUESTIONS* Cutting back on meetings. [23:06]* Improving your coworkers habits (without them knowing). [26:44]* Teaching depth to kids. [39:52]* Choosing between graduate school and a job. [46:30] * Scheduling side hustles. [48:55]* Career capital theory for parents. [49:44]* Avoiding the planning fallacy. [52:21] TECHNOLOGY QUESTIONS* My thoughts on Inbox Zero. [54:08]* Preventing short breaks from derailing depth. [57:47]* Reading on book per week. [1:04:04]* How much a serious college student should read. [1:12:33]* Digital minimalism for college students. [1:13:32]* On the limits of ethical technology (sermon alert). [1:20:20]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS* Planning for family in the deep life. [1:36:02]* Fostering depth later in life. [1:41:00]* Living deeply during pandemic homeschooling. [1:44:12]Special Offer Sponsor Links: - grammarly.com/DEEP - foursigmatic.com/DEEP - indeed.com/QUESTIONSThanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this mini-episode, I answer audio questions from listeners asking for advice about how best to tune-up their productivity and work habits in a moment of increased distraction and disruption.I also officially announce my new Time-Block Planner! Available for pre-order everyone you buy books. Find out more about the Time Block Academy event I'm holding for those who pre-order at calnewport.com/blog.You can submit your own audio questions at speakpipe.com/calnewport.Here are the topics we cover:  * Trello versus Workflowy for task management. [9:08] * Integrating life admin into your work day. [12:54] * Finding time for deliberate practice in an unpredictable work day. [18:46] * Rekindling a reading habit lost to distraction. [30:10] * High-tech metric tracking. [36:46]Offer links from this episode's sponsors: * Optimize.me/deep * ExpressVPN.com/deep * Purple.com/deep10Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this episode of Deep Questions I answer reader questions about deep work for managers, life without Facebook, and original thought in an age of information overload, among many other topics. I also continue our ongoing discussion of household productivity by sharing systems sent in by readers.To submit your own questions, sign up for my mailing list at calnewport.com. You can submit audio questions at https://www.speakpipe.com/CalNewportPlease consider subscribing (which helps iTunes rankings) and leaving a review or rating (which helps new listeners decide to try the show).Here’s the full list of topics tackled in today’s episode along with the timestamps:WORK QUESTIONS * Optimizing deep work retreats [17:57] * Pomodoro versus longer focus sessions [23:02] * Timeblocking in advance [24:55] * How to choose a new career [26:42]  * Balancing quality and quantity in research [32:44] * Deep work for managers [37:31]TECHNOLOGY QUESTIONS * Online information gathering without distraction [45:35]   * Tracking academic papers [48:53] * P vs NP [52:24]  * Life without Facebook [58:30]BACKSTAGE PASS: Meeting Tristan Harris and HQ updates [1:06:49]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS * Deep work and leisure activities [1:14:30] * Non-digital interaction in the age of COVID [1:18:49] * Deep work when dealing with mental health issues [1:25:19] * Thinking for yourself in an age of information overload [1:32:34] Offer links from this episode's sponsors: * Optimize.me/deep * ExpressVPN.com/deep * Purple.com/deep10Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this mini-episode, I answer audio questions from listeners asking for advice about how best to tune-up their productivity and work habits in a moment of increased distraction and disruption.You can submit your own audio questions at speakpipe.com/calnewport.Here are the topics we cover: * Productivity chimera's and processing captured tasks [9:53] * Thoughts on OmniFocus [16:37] * Taming a team's early email habit [21:39] * Finding time to write in a busy life [25:09] * Struggling to write even when you have the time [32:30] Special thanks to our sponsor Blinkist. For a 7-day free trial and 25% off a subscription, go to blinkist.com/DEEP.As always, if you enjoy the podcast, please considering subscribing or leaving a rating/review.Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this episode of Deep Questions I answer reader questions about the hidden difficulties of delegation, the impact of pandemic childcare on productivity (hint: it's not good), and the balance between deep work and deep hobbies, among many other topics.To submit your own questions, sign up for my mailing list at calnewport.com. You can submit audio questions at https://www.speakpipe.com/CalNewportPlease consider subscribing (which helps iTunes rankings) and leaving a review or rating (which helps new listeners decide to try the show).Thanks to our sponsor Optimize. For a free trial and 10% off go to optimize.me/DEEP.Thanks to our sponsor Blinkist. For a free trial and 25% off go to blinkist.com/DEEP.  Here’s the full list of topics tackled in today’s episode along with the timestamps:WORK QUESTIONS  * Spreading yourself too thin [11:11]  * Willpower fatigue [16:58]  * Deciding when to delegate [20:06]  * Work hour equity [23:03]  * Pandemic-induced childcare [28:45]  * Digital minimalism in the entertainment industry [34:19]TECHNOLOGY QUESTIONS * Storing longterm notes [43:38] * The value of site/app blocking software [45:22] * Concentration and pornography (rant alert) [46:44]BACKSTAGE PASS [54:50]DEEP LIFE QUESTIONS * Deep work versus deep hobbies [1:00:49] * Stopping ruminations [1:03:57] * Binging on productivity videos [1:07:47] * Seeking depth when hopelessly distracted [1:10:32]Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this mini-episode, I answer audio questions from listeners asking for advice about how best to tune-up their productivity and work habits in a moment of increased distraction and disruption.You can submit your own audio questions at speakpipe.com/calnewport.Here are the topics we cover: * Tracking deliberate practice initiatives. [8:21]* Helping an overwhelmed teacher. [12:33]* Dealing with hard work. [23:54]* Shutting down when you have too much to do. [29:26]* Taming the emotional rigors of a deep work habit. [37:28]Special thanks to our sponsor Optimize. For a 14-day free trial go to optimize.me/DEEP.As always, if you enjoy the podcast, please considering subscribing or leaving a rating/review.Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this episode of Deep Questions we try something a little different: our first guest!Bestselling author Ryan Holiday joins me to help answer reader questions, as well as more than a few queries from me. We cover a variety of topics, including his life as a writer living on a ranch, how he fosters discipline, the impact of our diminishing reading culture, and why everyone keeps trying to get me to move to Austin.Be sure to check out Ryan's new book: LIVES OF THE STOICS (https://dailystoic.com/preorder).To submit your own questions for the show, sign up for my mailing list at calnewport.com. You can submit audio questions at https://www.speakpipe.com/CalNewportThanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
In this mini-episode, I answer audio questions from listeners asking for advice about how best to tune-up their productivity and work habits in a moment of increased distraction and disruption.You can submit your own audio questions at speakpipe.com/calnewport.Here are the topics we cover: * Easing into time block planning. [6:24]* Keeping up when taking notes. [11:49]* Optimal delay between learning and recall. [17:12]* Planning big goals. [20:59]* Insider advice on book publishing [29:36]Special thanks to our sponsor Grammarly. For 20% off Grammarly Premium go to Grammarly.com/DEEP.  Use your laptop or desktop (this link doesn't always work on phones).As always, if you enjoy the podcast, please considering subscribing or leaving a rating/review.Thanks to listener Jay Kerstens for the intro music.
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Comments (23)

sjdltft

i think im the first listener of this episode. thanks for your content

Nov 26th
Reply

Jason Finn

01:01:46 this part about the need for two clashing theories is very interesting! Noticing where this does not apply could help to discourage dogma in so many places.

Nov 19th
Reply

Stu Cook

Another practical episode and I particularly liked the focus on prioritisation and even the radicalisation slot at the end.

Nov 19th
Reply

Simone

Honestly impressed by how good his advice on marriage was

Nov 9th
Reply

Stu Cook

There is always loads to think about whenever I listen to Cal. He's so insightful. I'm already reaping personal benefits from putting into practice what I hear so encourage others to listen if you want to boost personal productivity.

Oct 30th
Reply

Stu Cook

Another excellent episode today! The segment on daily vs. weekly planning has given me a lot to consider when it comes to how I plan out my time as I look to boost productivity.

Oct 23rd
Reply

yoyo

When he said "don't get me started" about tiktok, I really wanted to hear the rest of what he had to say 🤣

Oct 20th
Reply

Stu Cook

Great episode today. Reducing friction in my productivity is something I'm definitely pursuing and this podcast has a lot to offer.

Oct 20th
Reply

Dee

tik tok is brain poison. 😆😆💯💯

Oct 18th
Reply (2)

Stu Cook

This is such a good podcast, especially if you are interested in boosting your productivity in current times.

Oct 10th
Reply

Simone

I love the rants

Oct 5th
Reply

Raphaëlle Joffray

Cal Newport gives great advice to navigate the modernity madness : E-mails, Slack, overloaded schedules, and workplace insanity. These advices are also valuable at home, to find time to practice important activities instead of browsing shallow websites, and increase your "domestic productivity". Thanks Cal for all the tips !

Oct 2nd
Reply

Stu Cook

Very helpful advice on timeblocking, Cal. That's something that I had never heard of until listening to your podcast but I think it's something that I can incorporate into my day.

Sep 25th
Reply

Dee

YouTube is a problem for me, I'm not that active on social media but I have uninstalled Instagram, it helps.

Sep 17th
Reply

Stu Cook

Another great episode today, Cal! Your tips on slaying the "productivity hydra" have given me a lot to think about as I tackle my own upcoming projects.

Sep 9th
Reply

Stu Cook

Thanks for your advice today, Cal. 👍 I particularly like the idea of "adventure studying" especially in this climate we're living in so will be sure to consider my options.

Sep 1st
Reply

Vikramjit Singh

great content Cal...

Aug 13th
Reply

Dee

Don't be bothered by those outside the arena ✊

Aug 13th
Reply

Musaed A

thank you

Aug 6th
Reply

Sara Es

fantastic suggestions for deep life 😍😍

Jul 27th
Reply
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