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Cal Newport on time management

  • Don’t schedule distractions. Schedule deep work.
  • Keep a scoreboard for deep work: The point is to shame yourself if you’re not up to snuff.
  • Stop saying “yes” to unimportant stuff;
  • Have a “Deep Work Ritual”: Hiding in a conference room and throwing your phone into an abyss is a good one.
  • Ask your boss how much time they want you spending on deep vs shallow work: If they say “100% shallow”, feel free to ignore everything above.
  • @cristian510

    MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

    • Deep work”: using your skills to create something of value. It takes thought, energy, time and concentration.
    • Shallow work”: all the little administrative and logistical stuff: email, meetings, calls, expense reports, etc.

    Shallow work stops you from getting fired — but deep work is what gets you promoted. 

    Cal Newport
    The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.<

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    RELATED IDEAS

    Cal Newport on better managing time
    • To-Do lists are useless. Schedule everything.
    • Assume you’re going home at 5:30, then plan your day backwards.
    • Make a plan for the entire week
    • Do very few things, but be awesome at them.
    • Less shallow work, focus on the deep stuff.

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    IDEA

    Time blocking and focus

    By scheduling every minute of your day you not only guard against distraction but also multiply your focus.

    Also, focusing on one task at a time can make you up to 80% more productive than splitting your attention across multiple tasks.

    Stop Reacting

    Don’t check your email or anything else that is going to dictate your behavior.

    If you start your day by checking and replying to emails, it means you'll just react as new things come in until the day ends or you are too exhausted to do what was important.