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…

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.…

Be a Quitter

Author Cal Newport gives several "rules" for rebuilding your focus and strengthening your ability to produce high-quality work. First, we must make space for deep work. Second, we can embrace boredom. Next, Newport advocates for people to quite social media. Rule #3: Quit Social Media Internet sabbaticals are overrated. Why? Because such sabbaticals aren’t training your…

Embrace the Suck, I mean, Boredom

In the last post, I summarized Cal Newport's first rule of deep work and his suggestions on how to foster it. Now, I want lay out his next rule. Rule #2: Embrace Boredom You need to wean your mind from dependence on distraction (157). To strengthen your focus you must cut out the "fluff." It’s…

How to Go Deep (Work)

In order to succeed in today's economy, Cal Newport believes people must do "deep work": important, focused work. In his book, Newport lays out a few big rules for deep work and then draws out their implications. Rule #1: Work Deeply People have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it…