Blog – Cal Newport

Author - Study Hacks

Latest articles

On Technology and Focus: ASMR, VR, and the First Steps Toward Immersive Single Tasking

Around 2010, a curious new term arose in obscure but energetic internet chatrooms: autonomous sensory meridian response. ASMR, as it was soon abbreviated, described a peculiar form of paresthesia experienced as a tingling that starts in the scalp and then moves down the back. It’s often triggered by specific sounds, like soft whispering or a paintbrush...

When Did Productivity Become Personal?

My latest article for The New Yorker, published on Tuesday, is titled “The Rise and Fall of Getting Things Done.” It’s not, however, really about David Allen’s productivity system, which longtime readers (and listeners)  know I really admire. It’s instead about a deeper question that I hadn’t heard discussed much before: Why do we leave office workers...

The Time Blocking Revolution Begins…

I’m excited to announce that my new Time-Block Planner is now available everywhere books are sold online. I first described my time blocking practice on this blog back in 2013. The idea began to gain traction after I popularized it in my 2016 book, Deep Work. In the years since, it’s been featured in publications such as the New York Times, the New...

Staying Productive on Distracted Days

I don’t normally spend much time reading information online, so I definitely noticed this morning the unusual degree to which I was distracted by breaking election news. This points to an interesting question that I’ve seen discussed in some articles in recent days: what’s the best way to keep getting things done on truly distracting days? My answer:...

The Stone Carver in an Age of Computer Screens

A reader recently pointed me toward a short video titled “A Continuous Shape.” It profiles Anna Rubincam, a stone carver from South London who works alone out of a utilitarian studio; sliding doors open to tree-lined patio. The video follows Rubincam’s efforts over three weeks to produce a stone carving of a young woman’s head. It starts with her taking...

A Modest Proposal: Deweaponizing Network Effects

I recently read an important new article titled “Ethics of the Attention Economy: The Problem of Social Media Addiction.” It was written by  Vikram Bhargava and Manuel Velasquez, two professors from Santa Clara University, and published earlier this fall in the journal Business Ethics Quarterly. The article applies a rigorous ethical analysis to purposefully...

My New Planner + The Time Block Academy

Longtime readers and recent podcast listeners know that I’m a massive advocate of a productivity technique called time-block planning, which is at the core of my strategy for getting important things done in an increasingly distracted world. After years of hand-formatting generic notebooks to satisfy my time-block planning needs, I decided to design...

Churchill’s D-Day Task List

Last week, I received an email from a reader who had just returned from a trip to the Churchill War Rooms, a London museum housed in the bunkers, built underneath the Treasury Building, where Winston Churchill safely commanded the British war efforts as the Blitz bombarded the city above. The reader had photographed an artifact he thought I might find...

On the Neurochemistry of Deep Work

Andrew Huberman is a neurobiologist at Stanford Medical School. His lab specializes in neuroplasticity, the process by which the human brain changes its neuronal connections. A reader recently brought to my attention a fascinating discussion about learning. It’s from a podcast episode Huberman recorded with Joe Rogan back in July. Around the two minute...

Do Smartphones Make Us Dumber?

A reader recently pointed me toward an intriguing article published in 2017 in the Journal for the Association of Consumer Research. It was titled, “Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity.” The authors of the paper report the results of a straightforward experiment. Subjects are invited into a laboratory...

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