June 29, 2022

Deep Work, Digital Minimalism and Becoming So Good They Can’t Ignore You

#63: New York Times bestselling author and professor, Cal Newport, joins Chris to discuss building and living what he calls a “deep life.” We also delve into strategies that increase efficiency and quality of output, why constant email and messages are making you less productive (and what to do about it) and how to implement “high-quality leisure” into your life.

Cal Newport is a professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University and the award-winning author of seven books that have been published in over 40 languages, including “Deep Work”, “Digital Minimalism”, and most recently, “A World Without Email.”


Partner Deals

Truebill: Easily cancel your unused subscriptions

Inside Tracker: 20% off personalized wellness & nutrition plans backed by science


Selected Links From The Episode

Connect with Cal Newport: Newsletter | Podcast: Deep Questions with Cal Newport

Cal’s Books:

All the Hacks Podcast: The Power of Regret, Motivation and Good Timing with Daniel Pink

Study Hacks Blog: Work Less to Work Better: My Experiments with Shutdown Routines

Resources Mentioned: 

Personalizing Your Productivity:

Cal’s Takoma Park Recommendations: RepublicTakoma Bev Co


Full Show Notes:

The meaning of the term ‘deep life’ [1:22]

Categories to radically change when searching for a deep life [03:05]

The five Cs, Cal’s focus on community, and ways to foster deeper relationships [05:44]

Data that supports the benefits of making radical lifestyle changes [9:26]

Lifestyle-centric planning: working backward to make your dream a reality [12:03]

Pursuing the goal of being passionate about your life [15:50]

The Steve Martin quote that resonates with Cal Newport [18:53]

Chris and Cal explain how the term ‘hack’ incorporates both little tricks and tips, as well as massive fundamental mindset shifts [22:05]

Discussion of Cal’s book “Deep Work”, the importance of avoiding cognitive context shifts, and ways to develop that skill [26:02] 

Learning to time-block and train to avoid distractions, and advice about overcoming the initial feelings of discomfort [30:06] 

Slow productivity: categorizing your daily activities to increase efficiency and quality of output [35:26]

Implementing office hours as a way to focus back and forth interactions [38:53]

Escaping the existential void of ‘boredom scrolling’ by building up attractive alternatives to have more high-quality leisure time [44:01]

Three categories of high-quality, meaningful, and challenging leisure activities [46:20]

Cal’s digital minimalism philosophy [51:13]

Avoiding numbing behavior by choosing intellectual activities during moments of boredom [55:03]

Making a clear distinction between your workday and non-workday through the use of a shutdown routine and healthy ways to come back to second-shift work [57:29]

Maintaining the balance between family and work with structure and clarity of your time [1:02:35]

Cal’s Takoma Park recommendations [1:05:35]

Find out what Cal is reading, writing, producing, and talking about [1:07:18]




Truebill is the new app that helps you identify and stop paying for subscriptions you don’t need, want, or simply forgot about. You can see all your unwanted subscriptions in one place, keep the ones you want and cancel the ones you don’t – right from the app. Your Truebill concierge is there to cancel your subscriptions, so you don't have to. No talking to humans. No difficult conversations.

Join over 2 million users who've used TrueBill to save over $100 million and start cancelling your unused subscriptions today, by going to  allthehacks.com/truebill



InsideTracker provides a personalized plan to improve your metabolism, reduce stress, improve sleep, and optimize your health for the long haul. It's created by leading scientists in aging, genetics, and biometrics. They analyze your blood, DNA, and fitness tracking data to identify where you’re optimized—and where you’re not. With Inside Tracker you’ll get a daily Action Plan with personalized guidance on the right exercise, nutrition, and supplementation for your body.

For a limited time, you can get 20% off at allthehacks.com/insidetracker



Connect with All the Hacks

All the Hacks: Newsletter | Website | Facebook | Email

Chris Hutchins: Twitter | Instagram | Website | LinkedIn