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CM 028: Cal Newport on Deep Work

Episode description

Should we expect distractions at work? Or are we unwittingly cooperating in our own ineffectiveness?

In this conversation, Cal Newport, bestselling author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, shares how deep work has become the superpower of the 21st century. Cal argues that today’s workplace is a minefield of distractions. With email, open floor plans, and instant messaging systems, we’re continually pulled away from meaningful, productive work. And the very tools our workplaces rely on to promote productivity are actually contributing to increased distraction and inefficiency.

Learning to take control of our own attention is not only the key to a meaningful life, but it is the key to economic viability in a distracted age.

Cal is Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, as well as the bestselling author of five books. His ideas and writing are frequently featured in major publications, and he is author of the popular blog, Study Hacks.

In this episode, we talk about:

What makes deep work so valuable
How deep work makes life more meaningful
What deep work looks like and how little distraction it takes to ruin it
Why boredom is actually the key to doing deep work
Why relationships hold the key to deep work
Why we should be teaching young people to engage in deep work
The value of being lazy when it comes to deep work
Why you need a philosophy for doing deep work

Cal also shares his deep curiosity to rethink cognitive workflows in a post-industrial age.

Selected Links to Topics Mentioned

@CalNewport

Calnewport.com

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Georgetown University

MIT

Slack

Eric Barker

The Second Machine Age by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson

Madmen

Adam Grant

Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Sophie LeRoy and attention residue

Jack Dorsey

Square

Twitter

Industrial Revolution

Henry Ford

Scientific management

Assembly lines

Knowledge worker

Wilhelm Hofmann

Roy Baumeister

How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett

Downton Abbey

The Collaboration Curse in The Economist

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Thank you to Emmy-award-winning Creative Director Vanida Vae for designing the Curious Minds logo!

www.gayleallen.net

LinkedIn

@GAllenTC

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CM 016: Michelle Segar on Rethinking Exercise and Motivation

December 28th, 2015

34:12

If you are one of the millions of people who struggle to stick with an exercise program, Michelle Segar has a secret for you: It is not your fault; …

CM 015: Warren Berger on Questions that Prompt Innovation

December 21st, 2015

22:20

What if the secret to successful innovation lies in asking ambitious questions, the kinds most of us rarely ask? That is exactly what Warren Berger …

CM 014: Alvin Roth on the Secrets of Market Design

December 14th, 2015

31:26

Nobel-prize-winning economist Alvin Roth explores the markets that shape our lives, particularly our work, our health care and our schools. He also …

CM 013: Jamie Holmes on the Surprising Benefits of Uncertainty

December 7th, 2015

40:37

No one likes uncertainty, yet our success may depend on it. In the bestseller, Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing, Jamie Holmes argues that …

CM 012: Thiel Fellow Madison Maxey on Making and Design

November 30th, 2015

26:33

At 16, Madison Maxey was the youngest to intern at Tommy Hilfiger. Shortly after that, she founded her company, The Crated, a product innovation …

CM 011: Thiel Fellow Alex Koren on Learning to Fail

November 30th, 2015

26:30

Alex Koren had never considered dropping out of college. A successful high school student, he headed to Johns Hopkins University and was class …

CM 010: Thiel Fellow Jihad Kawas on Young Entrepreneurs

November 30th, 2015

28:08

Jihad Kawas started his company, Saily, when he was 16 years old growing up in Lebanon. Now, two years later, after a recent public launch, his app …

CM 009: Thiel Fellow Charlie Stigler on College and Career

November 30th, 2015

30:03

At the age of 16, Charlie Stigler built SelfControl, an app designed to block out online distractions. It has been downloaded by millions. Encouraged …

CM 008: Mona Patel on What Drives Great Design

November 23rd, 2015

24:09

Design thinking and creativity are like muscles: we all have them, but they are more useful when they are strengthened! In this bestselling book …

CM 007: Janice Kaplan on How Gratitude Changes Your Life

November 16th, 2015

29:49

What happens when you dedicate a year of your life to practicing gratitude? Maybe everything.

In this groundbreaking new book, The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life, Janice …

CM 006: Mick Ebeling on How to Achieve the Impossible

November 9th, 2015

32:44

Mick Ebeling is the Founder of Not Impossible Labs, an online crowdsourcing platform that dramatically improves the lives of millions by creating low-cost, open-source, and do-it-yourself devices. For example, through a …

CM 005: Nir Eyal on Rethinking Our Online Habits

November 2nd, 2015

37:13

Nir Eyal is the bestselling author of Hooked and a contributing writer for Forbes, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today. An entrepreneur, educator, and …

CM 004: Wendy Suzuki on How Exercise Makes You Smarter

October 26th, 2015

24:05

Wendy Suzuki is a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at New York University. Wendy is an award-winning teacher and researcher, a TEDx …

CM 003: Bernie Roth on How to Design a Life

October 17th, 2015

33:04

Bernie Roth is a Professor of Engineering and the Academic Director and Co-founder of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the d.school) at …

CM 002: David H. Hansson on How to Rethink Leadership

October 17th, 2015

31:38

David Heinemeier Hansson is the Founder and CTO of Basecamp (formerly 37signals), best-selling author of Rework and Remote, and creator of the …

CM 001: Seth Godin on How to Author a Life

October 14th, 2015

36:27

Best-selling author Seth Godin discusses how to reimagine life and work in the post-industrial age. His books include Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, and Purple Cow.

In this interview, Seth talks about the liberating power of …

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