In our 24-7 world of constant distractions, focus is quickly becoming the superpower of the 21st century. Your ability to get meaningful work done, become successful, and avoid the endless trap of busyness that we are so tempted to get sucked into is directly proportional to your ability to do ‘deep work’ and focus intensely on one important action at a time.
In today’s interview I speak with one of the foremost experts in the world on the topic of focus. Cal Newport is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University. In addition to studying the theoretical foundations of our digital age, Newport also writes about the impact of these technologies on the world of work. His most recent book, Deep Work, argues that focus is the new I.Q. in the modern workplace and that the ability to concentrate without distraction is becoming increasingly valuable.
For those of you who feel like you’re spinning your wheels all day but not getting anything done, only to jump on the hamster wheel the next day and do it again…this episode is a MUST LISTEN. Adopting just a few of the principles of this book can literally change the way you live your entire life. And if you haven’t already, I highly recommend listening to my previous episode with Greg McKeown, the author of “Essentialism” because these two topics complement each other extremely well.
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Here’s What You’ll Learn:
- What do creativity and focus look like on a neurological level?
- Why your ability to focus is more important than your IQ level
- How to maintain your mental hygiene
- What is “deep work”? (Hint: It might just be a modern superpower)
- The current demand for focus and its relationship with our fragmenting technology
- Learn to break your brain’s addiction to stimuli
- “You can choose between being busy or being remarkable. Not both.”
- The benefits of scheduling your entire day
- How much are your phone glances at work really costing you?
- What is a flow state and how difficult is it to achieive?
- Deep work isn’t about getting more work done, it’s about getting the same work done faster
- How much good work can one person complete in a day?
- The ability to focus deeply is a skill and requires practice, not a set amount of time
Useful Resources Mentioned:
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Cal Newport is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University. In addition to studying the theoretical foundations of our digital age, Newport also writes about the impact of these technologies on the world of work. His most recent book, Deep Work, argues that focus is the new I.Q. in the modern workplace and that the ability to concentrate without distraction is becoming increasingly valuable. He previously wrote So Good They Can’t Ignore You, a book which debunks the long-held belief that “follow your passion” is good advice, and three popular books of unconventional advice for students.
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).
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