Is Multi-Tasking a Way of Life? Professor Cal Newport Says It Doesn’t Have to Be.

February 9, 2017
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Is Concentration a Lost Art?

You decide to take on a massive project.

It could be putting together an ambitious proposal for work or gathering up receipts and tackling That Spiral of Darkness that is taxes. Or, it could be a household task–like finally organizing that medieval dungeon we call a garage.

You mark off D-Day on your calendar and, when the day arrives, you sit down to show this task who is boss. For the first ten minutes, you’re locked in. You’re sorting, you’re making lists, the world is becoming more ordered. You’re a force to be reckoned with.

Then your phone beeps. A notification.

Do you look at it? What happens to the rate of your work on your project if you do?

If the answer to that question is a little embarrassing, don’t hang your head too low. It’s not just you. It’s a lot of us.

In fact, so many of us have become accustomed to dividing our attention between our goals and our gadgets, Cal Newport believes the premium skill of the future is going to be remembering how to concentrate.

In an interview on this week’s podcast, Cal uses words like unbroken concentration and undistracted living to invite us to look at focus differently. He also tells us about writing his latest book, Deep Work. Fair warning, friends. This portion of the interview alone may change the way you live the next 10 or 20 years of your life.

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