A World Without Email | The Specialization Principle

How do we get out of the mess that email has made? Cal Newport, in his book A World Without Email, lays out a few principles that could help individuals and organizations get out of this mess we've made. First, Newport argues that organizations must prioritize their worker's attention. Knowledge work require great depth of…

A World Without Email | The Protocol Principle

Email is terrible. But Cal Newport has answers for the problem of email: the attention capital principle and the process principle. In the next chapter, Newport lays out the next principle: the protocol principle. The protocol principle seeks to "optimize when and how coordination occurs in the workplace" (187). In other words, what are the…

A World Without Email | The Process Principle

Newport opens his book examining the problems that email has brought upon the world of knowledge work. He then attempts to solve these problems by laying out a few principles. He first argues that organizations should focus on focus, guarding their employee's attention. Next, Newport focuses on the "process principle." Knowledge work can be more…

A World Without Email | The Attention Capital Principle

After exploring the problems with email, Cal Newport dives into different ways to solve them with several principles. The first principle is the "attention capital principe." Newport essentially argues that the most valuable asset knowledge workers have is their brains. Since the human mind is what produces value in knowledge work, it needs to be…

A World Without Email | The Problem of Email

Cal Newport's book A World Without Email explores the problems that email has brought upon the world of knowledge and how to counteract them. While the book puts "email" in the title, the bigger problem is what Newports calls the "hyperactive hive-mind": having your mind bound back and forth between various messages and therefore constantly…

The Power of Purpose

What are you doing with your life? Just about everyone wants a meaningful life, even though it can feel meaningless, pointless, and absurd at times. Humanity's desire for meaning reveals the power of purpose. Once you know why you're on this speck of dust hurtling through the universe, your life will take off in a…

Pastor as Monk (Sort of)

Cal Newport has a solid older blog post on the concept of "Monk Mode Mornings." Essentially, going monk mode in the morning means spending the morning doing deep work and scheduling any other meetings/people time in the afternoons. Applying the monk mode to pastors would mean focusing on your sermon prep and writing during the…

Digital Discipline

How much time do you spend on your phone? The answer may surprise you. From supposed "quick glances" to long hours scrolling through social media, mobile devices continue to grab people's attention. In his new book, Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport seeks to address the problems associated with having a life dominated by digital devices. The Problem:…

Questions on Deep Work

I love the book Deep Work by Cal Newport. It's probably been the most influential book on me in the last four years. You can find the series I did on the book here: one, two, three, four, five. But the book does raise a number of remaining questions that have to be worked through to develop…

Cut It Out…Shallow Work, That Is

If actually doing deep work is meaningful, then we the flipside is true: doing shallow work is not meaningful. So what it to be done? Rule #4 Drain the Shallows If you want to work deeply, then you must drain the shallows. You must attempt to rid your schedule of as much shallow work as possible.…