Ep65: Becoming a ‘Digital Minimalist’ | with Cal Newport


Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, and he’s also the author of six (amazing) books including Deep Work and So Good They Can’t Ignore You. You will NOT find Cal on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platforms. And if you’re wondering why, you’ll learn a lot more in today’s interview when we discuss his brand new book Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life In a Noisy World.

In my previous conversation with Cal we did a deep dive into his area of expertise: Deep work. And what Cal discovered after publishing that book is that one of the main distractions keeping people from regularly getting into ‘the zone’ and accomplishing deep work was social media. This led him down the path of learning more about how social media affects our lives, our attention spans, our emotions, and our psyche. And what he has discovered is not good.

Beyond simply breaking down in very clear terms the detriments of spending too much time on social media, Cal has taken the step of creating a philosophy for technology use that has already improved the lives of thousands of people that have implemented it.

If you have the nagging suspicion that your smartphone and social media are commanding far more of your time, energy, and attention than you would like, perhaps adopting a little digitial minimalism isn’t such a bad idea. Learn how to drastically reduce your addiction to social media and your smartphone and live a more calm, distraction-free, and present life from the expert himself in this interview.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Creating a philosophy of digital use, not just tips & tricks
  • Is there still a healthy place for social media?
  • Do you need to digitally declutter or digitally detox?
  • How to do a 30-Day declutter
  • Maximalist vs. Minimalist view of embracing technology
  • The mental health detriments of social media
  • How to healthily reintroduce technology into your life
  • The designs and intentions of social media companies

Useful Resources Mentioned:

CalNewport.com

Digital Minimalism Book

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude

OPT Podcast Ep35: FOCUS: The Superpower of the 21st Century

Focus Yourself Program Waitlist

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible for you by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone who stands at their workstation. The Topo is super comfortable, an awesome conversation starter, and it’s also scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. Click here to learn more and get your Topo Mat.

Guest Bio:

Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University and the author of six books, including Deep Work and So Good They Can’t Ignore You. You won’t find him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, but you can often find him at home with his family in Washington, DC, or writing essays for his popular website calnewport.com

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Elyse Rintelman. The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).


Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, and the creator of the Optimize Yourself program. Zack helps ambitious creative professionals and entrepreneurs overcome procrastination, depression, and creative burnout so they can get sh*t done and achieve the most meaningful goals in their lives...without sacrificing their sanity in the process. If you’re interested in learning how to better manage your time, your energy, and develop ninja-like focus, download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”