Cal Newport on taking your life back from technology

The “Deep Work” author on focusing on what matters, regaining your “cognitive fitness,” and taking control of your time.

I was asked recently to name a book that changed my life. The book I chose was Cal Newport’s “Deep Work,” and for the most literal of reasons: It’s changed how I lived my life. Particularly, it’s led me to stop scheduling morning meetings, and to preserve that time for more sustained, creative work.

Which is all to say that I’m a bit obsessed with Newport’s work right now, and particularly his account of how the digital environment we inhabit is training us out of concentration and into distraction in ways that are bad for our minds, bad for our work, and ultimately bad for the world. So I invited him onto my podcast for a long, searching conversation about the role technology is playing in our lives.

In conversation, Newport doesn’t disappoint. For him, the idea of deep work isn’t a mere productivity hack — it’s a path toward a better life, and a way of retaking control from technologies that are built to addict us more than they’re built to aid us:

Ezra Klein

There can be a way in which this conversation sounds like it is about making people into hyper-productive widget makers. One of the things I thought was interesting in the book was that your argument is that this is the way to work less, to have gotten enough done that at 5:00 pm, or whenever it is you leave, you can actually go home and spend the time with your family.

Cal Newport

If you prioritize …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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