Cal Newport

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pages: 243 words: 59,662

Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less by Michael Hyatt

"side hustle", Atul Gawande, Cal Newport, Checklist Manifesto, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, informal economy, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, remote working, Steve Jobs, zero-sum game

Free to Focus offers a practical, flexible framework for centering your life around what matters most, and unleashing your best work every day. Michael Hyatt has helped thousands of people take back control of their lives, and he’ll do the same for you. Todd Henry, author, The Accidental Creative “Busyness is meaningless. What matters is consistently executing the work that actually matters. This book shows you how.” Cal Newport, New York Times bestselling author, Deep Work and Digital Minimalism “Success, we are often told, requires backbreaking work and never-ending hours in the office. And then we meet the truly successful who seem to get more done in less time than anyone else. Michael Hyatt shines the light on the secrets of the most productive people in his new book, Free to Focus. With his proven methods and research, you’ll launch faster, go farther, and perform better than you thought possible.”

ANNIE DILLARD When fielding competing demands on our attention, we sometimes default to addressing two or more at the same time. Then we pride ourselves about our ability to multitask. The problem is, the human brain doesn’t really multitask. Instead, as journalist John Naish says, “it switches frantically between tasks like a bad amateur plate-spinner.”1 This kind of switching comes with heavy costs. When you jump between tasks, according to Georgetown computer scientist Cal Newport, “your attention doesn’t immediately follow—a residue of your attention remains stuck thinking about the original task.”2 Switching isn’t seamless. “Attention residue” gunks up our mental gears. One study by the University of California at Irvine found workers averaged twenty-five minutes to resume a task after an interruption like an email or phone call.3 By breaking our focus, switching also slows our processing ability.

The biggest draw was social media—Facebook leading the pack—but people also reported online shopping and browsing travel, sports, and entertainment sites.12 How often do we catch ourselves mindlessly surfing from one page to another, or thumbing the infinite scroll on our phones, with no clear objective in mind? I’ve heard people say that social media provides breaks in the day, the way people used to walk or go outdoors for a smoke. That’s part of what’s happening, but the accessibility of social media means people aren’t usually working for a long period and then taking a break. They’re breaking their concentration multiple times in what Cal Newport calls “quick checks” during the working period. Instead of taking a break, they’re breaking their focus. Doing Downhill Work. A lot of this has to do with low frustration tolerance. In their book The Distracted Mind, professors Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen say humans are inherently attention-seeking. When we get bored, anxious, or uncomfortable, it’s easy to change the channel instantly to find something more interesting.


Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Sign Up Or visit us at hachettebookgroup.com/newsletters Contents Cover Title Page Welcome Introduction PART 1: The Idea Chapter 1: Deep Work Is Valuable Chapter 2: Deep Work Is Rare Chapter 3: Deep Work Is Meaningful PART 2: The Rules Rule #1: Work Deeply Rule #2: Embrace Boredom Rule #3: Quit Social Media Rule #4: Drain the Shallows Conclusion Also by Cal Newport Notes Newsletters Copyright Copyright Copyright © 2016 by Cal Newport Cover design by Elizabeth Turner Cover copyright © 2016 by Hachette Book Group, Inc. All rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at permissions@hbgusa.com.

But if you’re willing to sidestep these comforts and fears, and instead struggle to deploy your mind to its fullest capacity to create things that matter, then you’ll discover, as others have before you, that depth generates a life rich with productivity and meaning. In Part 1, I quoted writer Winifred Gallagher saying, “I’ll live the focused life, because it’s the best kind there is.” I agree. So does Bill Gates. And hopefully now that you’ve finished this book, you agree too. Also by Cal Newport So Good They Can’t Ignore You How to Be a High School Superstar How to Become a Straight-A Student How to Win at College Notes Introduction “In my retiring room”; “I keep the key”; and “The feeling of repose and renewal”: Jung, Carl. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Trans. Richard Winston. New York: Pantheon, 1963. “Although he had many patients” and other information on artists’ habits: Currey, Mason.


pages: 572 words: 94,002

Reset: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money: The Unconventional Early Retirement Plan for Midlife Careerists Who Want to Be Happy by David Sawyer

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, beat the dealer, bitcoin, Cal Newport, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Attenborough, David Heinemeier Hansson, Desert Island Discs, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, financial independence, follow your passion, gig economy, hiring and firing, index card, index fund, invention of the wheel, knowledge worker, loadsamoney, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage debt, passive income, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart meter, Snapchat, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Vanguard fund, Y Combinator

According to a 2018 report by management consulting firm McKinsey[37], artificial intelligence, automation and robotics[38] will have made many unskilled jobs redundant, and there’ll be a bigger pool of knowledge workers for employers to choose from. Whether you’re a PR consultant, accountant, or lawyer it won’t matter if you’re in Glasgow, Gothenburg or Ganzhou. All that will matter, in the words of Deep Work author Cal Newport, is: “Your ability to quickly master hard things.” “The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed[39].” You think your job’s in danger now. Try ten years down the line. And it ain’t going to get any better unless you do something about it now. They’re not real Before we go any farther in this book, you need to understand something. No matter how much you thrive on your job (and if you’re one of those lucky 13%[40] that like to work, that’s great), the only intrinsic point of working for money is to be paid.

Every successful person I know toiled away for years before achieving anything. Life isn’t The X Factor[449] and the world’s not full of reality TV stars. In the final reckoning, you get out what you put in and nowt beats hard graft. Apart, perhaps, from distraction-free hard graft. 5. The importance of deep work You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks[450]. Winston Churchill Cal Newport, PhD, is assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University. His book, Deep Work, has had a profound effect on how I approach achieving my goals. Here’s the why, what and how on this fundamental RESET principle. The problem We live in a fast-changing world, full of distractions. A world of open-plan offices, a world where work has encroached on home life and we’re expected to be contactable 24/7.

. – Amazon UK.” toreset.me/448, p. 169. [449] Life isn’t The X Factor: “The X Factor – Wikipedia.” toreset.me/449. [450] “throw stones at every dog that barks”: “13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful – Medium.” 26 Dec. 2016, toreset.me/450. [451] “Deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy”: “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted... – Cal Newport.” 5 Jan. 2016, toreset.me/451. [452] David Allen’s GTD system: “Getting Things Done – Wikipedia.” toreset.me/452. [453] If you’re one of the 70%: “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop... – Amazon UK.” toreset.me/453, p. 76. [454] “They make people sick, hostile, unmotivated and insecure”: Ibid., p. 84. [455] “freedom from interruption”: “Why You Can Focus in a Coffee Shop but Not in Your Open Office.” 18 Oct. 2017, toreset.me/455


pages: 279 words: 71,542

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Burning Man, Cal Newport, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, index fund, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, price discrimination, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs

Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Newport, Cal, author. Title: Digital minimalism : on living better with less technology / Cal Newport. Description: New York : Portfolio/Penguin, 2019. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018041568 (print) | LCCN 2018043187 (ebook) | ISBN 9780525536543 (Ebook) | ISBN 9780525536512 (hardcover) | ISBN 9780525542872 (international edition) Subjects: LCSH: Information technology—Social aspects. | Internet addiction—Social aspects. | Technological innovations—Social aspects.

., 157 Thames, Liz, 172–74, 176 Thoreau, Henry David, xv, 36–41, 100, 101, 120, 251–52 Walden, xviii, 36–40, 99, 109–11 walks of, 118, 119, 122 Time Well Spent, 12 tobacco industry, 9–11 Trump, Donald, 92n Turkle, Sherry, 144–47, 150, 156, 160 Twenge, Jean, 105–8 Twilight of the Idols (Nietzsche), 116–17 Twitter, 7, 33, 75, 79, 199, 220, 232, 233, 239, 244 cost vs. value of using, 41–42 TweetDeck and, 234–35 Union Fire Company, 204 USA Rock Paper Scissors League, 127–30, 135 Vail, Alfred, 250 value(s): Amish and, 51–54 digital minimalism and, 28–36 low-value activities, 30 and reintroducing technologies in digital declutter, 60, 70, 71, 75–81 Variety, 112 Verge, The, 222, 244 video games, 63–64, 68, 171, 177, 181, 183, 184 Walden (Thoreau), xviii, 36–40, 99, 109–11 “Walking” (Thoreau), 118 walks, walking, 116–22 with friends, 149, 150, 163 gratitude, 120 Wallace, Mike, 10–11 Wanderer and His Shadow, The (Nietzsche), 117–18 Washington, DC, 85–86, 240 Washington Post, 239 Washington University, 131 watch, 81 weekly leisure plans, 210–12 welding, 194–95 WhatsApp, 7, 65, 156 What Technology Wants (Kelly), 50–51 White House Historical Association, 88 Whitmire, Tim, 187 Wigand, Jeffrey, 10–11 Winchester, Simon, 249–51 Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 97 Woolf, Virginia, 97 work, 168 Wu, Tim, 215–16 YouTube, 127, 168, 193 how-to lessons on, 192, 193, 195, 197–98 Zeiler, Michael, 17–18 Zuckerberg, Mark, 103, 222 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ About the Author Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University and the author of six books, including Deep Work and So Good They Can't Ignore You. You won't find him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, but you can often find him at home with his family in Washington, DC, or writing essays for his popular website calnewport.com. * To some, the fact that I can’t draw from a deep well of personal experience is a liability.


pages: 301 words: 78,638

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

"side hustle", Atul Gawande, Cal Newport, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, late fees, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Paul Graham, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Saturday Night Live, survivorship bias, Walter Mischel

decisive moments: Shoutout to Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of the greatest street photographers of all time, who coined the term decisive moment, but for an entirely different purpose: capturing amazing images at just the right time. the Two-Minute Rule: Hat tip to David Allen, whose version of the Two-Minute Rule states, “If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.” For more, see David Allen, Getting Things Done (New York: Penguin, 2015). power-down habit: Author Cal Newport uses a shutdown ritual in which he does a last email inbox check, prepares his to-do list for the next day, and says “shutdown complete” to end work for the day. For more, see Cal Newport, Deep Work (Boston: Little, Brown, 2016). He always stopped journaling before it seemed like a hassle: Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (New York: Crown, 2014), 78. habit shaping: Gail B. Peterson, “A Day of Great Illumination: B. F. Skinner’s Discovery of Shaping,” Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 82, no. 3 (2004), doi:10.1901/jeab.2004.82–317.


pages: 258 words: 74,942

Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis

Airbnb, big-box store, Cal Newport, call centre, corporate social responsibility, David Heinemeier Hansson, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, follow your passion, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, Inbox Zero, index fund, job automation, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Naomi Klein, passive investing, Paul Graham, pets.com, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, uber lyft, web application, Y Combinator, Y2K

Known for her shrewd pragmatism on the show, Corcoran says that it’s more important to focus on solving problems than on passion. Her problem-solving focus allows her to better evaluate new business ventures that are presented to her on the show. When you focus on solving problems or on making a difference, passion may follow, because you’re actually involved in the work you’re doing instead of just dreaming that you might be passionate about something. Cal Newport, the best-selling author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You, argues that passion is the side effect of mastery. To Newport, following your passion is fundamentally flawed as a career strategy because it fails to describe how most successful people ended up with compelling careers and can lead to chronic job-shifting and angst when your reality falls short of your passionate dream for your career.

Kramer, “Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility,” Harvard Business Review, December 2006, https://hbr.org/2006/12/strategy-and-society-the-link-between-competitive-advantage-and-corporate-social-responsibility. 81 at the University of Quebec: Robert J. Vallerand, “On the Psychology of Passion: In Search of What Makes People’s Lives Most Worth Living,” January 2007, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228347175_On_the_Psychology_of_Passion_In_Search_of_What_Makes_People’s_Lives_Most_Worth_Living. 82 following your passion is fundamentally flawed: Cal Newport, So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2012), xviii. engaging work helps you develop passion: William MacAskill, Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference (New York: Avery, 2015), 147–178. 86 not be just a job but an adventure: Jeffrey Jensen Arnett and Elizabeth Fishel, “Is 30 the New 20 for Young Adults?”


pages: 274 words: 72,657

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Cal Newport, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, desegregation, fear of failure, Mahatma Gandhi, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, school choice, six sigma, Steve Ballmer

(One of your authors will sometimes walk laps around his bedroom at night in order to clinch 10,000 steps for the day. Absurd but true.) We all love milestones. This brings us to one last point: The desire to hit milestones elicits a concerted final push of effort. To finish the marathon under 4 hours, you sprint the final quarter mile. To hit your 10,000 steps for the day, you obsessively pace the bedroom. Cal Newport, an author and computer science professor, spent years studying the habits of successful people. “From my experience, the most common trait you will consistently observe in accomplished people is an obsession with completion. Once a project falls into their horizon, they crave almost compulsively, to finish it.” Success comes from pushing to the finish line. What milestones do is compel us to make that push, because (a) they’re within our grasp, and (b) we’ve chosen them precisely because they’re worth reaching for.

Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story. New York: Rodale, p. 65. Scott Ettl reads presidential biographies. Scott Ettl story from interview with Dan in July 2016 Nine million runners in marathons. Eric J. Allen, Patricia M. Dechow, Devin G. Pope, and George Wu (2014, July). “Reference-Dependent Preferences: Evidence from Marathon Runners,” NBER Working Paper No. 20343. Cal Newport, “obsession with completion.” Cited in blog: https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2007/10/18/the-art-of-the-finish-how-to-go-from-busy-to-accomplished/. Chapter 9: Practice Courage Nashville sit-ins. This case study is based on an episode called “Ain’t Scared of Your Jails,” in the brilliant PBS series Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years (1995). Most of the series, including this episode, can be found on YouTube.


pages: 389 words: 112,319

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

Damon Young, “Charles Darwin’s Daily Walks,” Psychology Today, January 12, 2015, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/how-think-about-exercise/201501/charles-darwins-daily-walks. 46. Pang, Rest, 100. 47. Melissa A. Schilling, Quirky: The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World (New York: PublicAffairs, 2018). 48. Cal Newport, “Neil Gaiman’s Advice to Writers: Get Bored,” Cal Newport website, November 11, 2016, www.calnewport.com/blog/2016/11/11/neil-gaimans-advice-to-writers-get-bored. 49. Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (New York: Scribner, 2000). 50. Mo Gawdat, Solve for Happy: Engineering Your Path to Joy (New York: North Star Way, 2017), 118. 51. Rebecca Muller, “Bill Gates Spends Two Weeks Alone in the Forest Each Year.


pages: 170 words: 46,126

The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love With the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams by Tommy Baker

"side hustle", Cal Newport, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, passive income, Steve Jobs

Around fifteen minutes later, the blinking cursor started to take over. I caught myself wanting to be social, and I made excuses to text, e-mail, or do anything but write. Needless to say, that version of the book never got to 1,000 words. I conveniently put it on the backburner, and never opened the document again. At the end of the year, I was exposed to a powerful text that shifted the way I view work, life, and business. This book was Deep Work by Cal Newport (Newport 2016), an accomplished professor, writer, and researcher who seems to accomplish more than anyone in his field. He used examples of those who took deep work to the extreme and extracted themselves from society, including Carl Jung, Benjamin Franklin, and others. I was floored by the distinctions in the book and realized how much I’d been letting the monkey mind control my life. The core premise is simple: in an ever-distracted and changing world, the ability to engage in deep work makes you rare and inherently valuable.


pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha

Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Black Swan, business intelligence, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, David Brooks, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, follow your passion, future of work, game design, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, late fees, lateral thinking, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, out of africa, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, rolodex, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs

In particular, I’d like to call out three of my teachers whose early gifts of time and insight changed my life: Lisa Cox and Tom Wessells from the Putney School, who set me on my initial path of being a public intellectual, and Jonathan Reider at Stanford University, who amplified that path. —RGH I’m grateful to the many people who supported me in this project. A special tip of the hat to Jessie Young, Stephen Dodson, Chris Yeh, and Cal Newport for going beyond the call of duty. And heartfelt thanks to my parents for everything they do. —BTC Notes Chapter 1 1. “Centuries of immigrants” and “risked everything” were inspired by Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address. “Obama’s Second State of the Union (Text),” New York Times, January 25, 2011, http://​www.​nytimes.​com/​2011/​01/​26/​us/​politics/​26obama-​text.​html?​


pages: 197 words: 60,477

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport

Apple II, bounce rate, business cycle, Byte Shop, Cal Newport, capital controls, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, deliberate practice, financial independence, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, job-hopping, knowledge worker, Mason jar, medical residency, new economy, passive income, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, renewable energy credits, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Bolles, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, winner-take-all economy

Finally, my wife, Julie, was indispensable in the writing process. She not only read drafts of my work in progress but also listened through endless iterations of my thinking, always offering honest and clear feedback. She was joined in these efforts by my friend Ben Casnocha, who conceived, sold, and wrote a career-advice book concurrently with my own, allowing us to share numerous useful conversations at all stages of the process. About the Author CAL NEWPORT is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University. He previously earned his PhD from MIT and his bachelor’s from Dartmouth College. Newport is the author of three books of unconventional advice for students: How to Be a High School Superstar, How to Become a Straight-A Student, and How to Win at College. He runs the popular blog, Study Hacks, which decodes patterns of success for both students and graduates.


pages: 272 words: 66,985

Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction by Chris Bailey

"side hustle", Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Cal Newport, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, functional fixedness, game design, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Skype, twin studies, Zipcar

A regular, reduced-distraction working mode, where I work with a manageable number of distractions throughout the day. Over the course of the day, we alternate between doing two types of work: focus work and collaborative work. Focus work benefits from all the attention we can bring to it—the less we’re distracted, the more deeply we’re able to focus, and the more productive we become. This allows us, as author Cal Newport has put it, to do “deep work.” The breakdown of how much focus and collaborative work you do varies depending on your job. If you’re an administrative assistant, your work may involve 90 percent collaboration and 10 percent focus work. If you’re a writer, your work may require 90 percent focus work and 10 percent collaboration. Ask yourself: Roughly what breakdown does your job have overall?


pages: 373 words: 80,248

Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges

Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Cal Newport, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, haute couture, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, social intelligence, statistical model, uranium enrichment

As a result amorality also grows; as does extreme aggressivity when they are questioned by outsiders; as does a confusion between the nature of good versus having a ready answer to all questions. Above all, what is encouraged is the growth of an undisciplined form of self-interest, in which winning is what counts.15 One winter night I was returning books to Firestone Library at Princeton University. I glanced at the book the student behind the main desk was reading. It was How to Win at College by Cal Newport. The flap cover promised that it was “the only guide to getting ahead once you’ve gotten in—proven strategies for making the most of your college years, based on winning secrets from the country’s most successful students.” “What does it take to be a standout student?” the flap read. How can you make the most of your college years—graduate with honors, choose exciting activities, build a head-turning résumé, and gain access to the best post-college opportunities?


pages: 293 words: 81,183

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill

barriers to entry, basic income, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, effective altruism, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, experimental subject, follow your passion, food miles, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nate Silver, Peter Singer: altruism, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, self-driving car, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, universal basic income, women in the workforce

Cooper, eds., Well-being: Productivity and Happiness at Work (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and Andrew J. Oswald, Eugenio Proto, and Daniel Sgroi, “Happiness and Productivity,” IZA discussion papers, no. 4,645 (2009), http://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/35451. “You have to trust in something”: “‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says,” Stanford Report, June 14, 2005. For criticism, see Cal Newport, So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love (New York: Business Plus, 2012), 3–11. “You owe it to yourself to do work that you love”: Jenny Ungless and Rowan Davies, Career Ahead: The Complete Career Handbook (London: Raleo, 2008). A popular YouTube video: “What If Money Was No Object?”: https://vimeo.com/63961985. The video, which reached two million views on YouTube before it was taken down for copyright infringement, consists of a brief excerpt, with added background music, from a lecture delivered by Alan Watts and later published as Do You Do It or Does It Do You?


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

The virtue of a platform model, from this point of view, is that it would enable everyone to write as uniquely as they must and as weirdly as they will. The destruction of an ill-founded cyber-utopianism, insufficiently attentive to the political economy of platform capitalism and its pathologies, has given rise to a counter-utopian backlash. It manifests in the proliferation of articles with headlines like, ‘I quit social media and it changed my life’. TED talks such as Cal Newport’s ‘Why you should quit social media’. Books like Jaron Lanier’s Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. Alongside these are the innumerable head-shaking think pieces about how to combat ‘fake news’ and stop Russian trolls from destroying democracy. Increasingly, the rich absent themselves, professionalizing and delegating their social media accounts. Platform bosses, of course, never get high on their own supply: social media abstinence is not an affliction of the poor, but the cultural distinction of the affluent.


Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg, Lauren McCann

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-pattern, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business process, butterfly effect, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, lateral thinking, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, mail merge, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, Potemkin village, prediction markets, premature optimization, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, publication bias, recommendation engine, remote working, replication crisis, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, uber lyft, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

That’s the idea their thoughts will drift toward when they’re allowed to drift freely. And this idea will thus tend to get all the benefit of that type of thinking, while others are starved of it. Which means it’s a disaster to let the wrong idea become the top one in your mind. If you are constantly switching between activities, you don’t end up doing much creative thinking at all. Author Cal Newport refers to the type of thinking that leads to breakthrough solutions as deep work. He advocates for dedicating long, uninterrupted periods of time to making progress on your most important problem. In a November 6, 2014, lecture titled “How to Operate,” entrepreneur and investor Keith Rabois tells a story about how Peter Thiel used this concept when he was CEO of PayPal: [Peter] used to insist at PayPal that every single person could only do exactly one thing.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Feynman), Recession Proof Graduate (Charlie Hoehn), Ogilvy on Advertising (David Ogilvy), The Martian (Andy Weir) Kamkar, Samy: Influence (Robert Cialdini) Kaskade: Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath (Ted Koppel) Kass, Sam: Sapiens (Yuval Noah Harari), The Art of Fielding (Chad Harbach), Plenty; Jerusalem; Plenty More (Yotam Ottolenghi), The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs (Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg), A History of World Agriculture (Marcel Mazoyer and Laurence Roudart) Kelly, Kevin: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko (Daniel Pink), So Good They Can’t Ignore You (Cal Newport), Shantaram (Gregory David Roberts), Future Shock (Alvin Toffler), Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (AnnaLee Saxenian), What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (John Markoff), The Qur’an, The Bible, The Essential Rumi; The Sound of the One Hand: 281 Zen Koans with Answers (Yoel Hoffman), It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff (Peter Walsh) Koppelman, Brian: What Makes Sammy Run?