Blog – Cal Newport

Author - Study Hacks

Latest articles

Has the Shift Toward Neuro-Productivity Already Begun?

A reader recently pointed me toward an interesting new feature Microsoft added to its widely-used Outlook email and calendar software: support for deep work. Outlook users can now create a personal “focus plan” that measures how many hours they’re spending dedicated to undistracted work, and can automatically schedule these blocks. Though the tool...

A Deliberate Tribute

I was saddened to learn earlier today that Anders Ericsson, creator of deliberate practice theory, recently passed away. Longtime readers of mine know that his work greatly influenced me. I never met Anders in person, but we shared a sporadic correspondence that I cherished. I thought it appropriate to offer a brief personal tribute to his powerful...

On the Exceptionalism of Books in an Age of Tweets

Early in his 1994 essay collection, The Gutenberg Elegies, literary critic Sven Birkerts tells a story about his experience teaching an undergraduate course on short stories. He started his students easy, with some Washington Irving, then moved on to Hawthorne and Poe before arriving at Henry James. It was here that his class “derailed.” He tried...

On Social Media and Character

Madison Fischer, a professional sport climber, recently pointed me toward an insightful essay she published on her blog about her battle with social media. Early in her climbing career, Madison was exposed to Instagram. At first she posted pictures of her cat; then pictures of competitions; then her training; then she had a professional account where...

Facebook’s Fatal Flaw?

In Episode 4 of my Deep Questions podcast (posted Monday), a reader named Jessica asked my opinion about the future of social media. I have a lot of thoughts on this issue, but in my response I focused on one point in particular that I’ve been toying with recently: Facebook may have accidentally developed a fatal flaw. To understand this claim, we...

Small Steps

Last week, I asked for your help in identifying organizations that have had some success working on issues surrounding police violence. My instinct when facing an overwhelming problem is to find at least one place where some improvement is possible, find people who are having success with these improvements, then give them support to help them keep...

Ancient Complications to Modern Career Advice

In 2012, I published a book titled So Good They Can’t Ignore You. It argued that “follow your passion” was bad career advice. I didn’t claim that passion was a problem, but instead argued that it was too simplistic to assume that the key to career satisfaction was as easy as matching your job to a pre-existing inclination. For many people, this slogan...

Answering Your Questions

In the early years of this blog, one of my favorite activities was answering reader questions. I used to put aside an hour almost every day for keeping up with these emails. Over time, however, the number of queries became too large to manage. It occurred to me recently that the podcast format might provide a way for me to return to these roots while...

On Running an Office Like a Factory

I was recently browsing the archives of the MIT Sloan Management Review (as one does), when I came across a fascinating article from the Fall 2018 issue titled “Breaking Logjams in Knowledge Work.” The piece starts with a blunt observation: “If you work in an organization, you know what it’s like to have too much to do and not enough resources to do...

Can Remote Work Be Fixed? My Latest Article For The New Yorker

Earlier today, I published my latest article for the New Yorker. It’s titled: Can Remote Work Be Fixed? In this semi-epic long-form essay, I dive into the history of the remote work movement, documenting why, after decades of excitement, it ended up falling short of its potential. I then tackle the big question on a lot of peoples’ mind at the moment:...

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