Deep Questions with Cal Newport podcast

Ep. 294: A Tactical Assault on Busyness

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One of the biggest problems afflicting knowledge workers in the digital age is frantic busyness; days filled with emails, chats, and meetings, without much to show for all the effort. In today’s episode, Cal dives into one of the most-discussed ideas from his new book, Slow Productivity, which offers a simple, tactical assault on this state of persistent busyness. He then answers listener questions about similar issues and lists the book he read in March.

Below are the questions covered in today's episode (with their timestamps). Get your questions answered by Cal! Here’s the link:

Video from today’s episode:

Deep Dive: A Tactical Assault on Busyness [3:47]

- How can I stop chasing the “perfect” productivity system? [34:51]
- How do I avoid losing my day to distraction? [39:08] 
- How do I help my partner escape meeting quickstand? [42:31]
- How do we design the perfect client/task/scheduling system? [48:59]
- Can Apple Vision Pro help deep work? [54:46]

The 5 Books Cal Read in March 2024 [1:06:43]

A Short History of England (Simon Jenkins)
Into the Impossible (Brian Keating)
The Amen Effect (Sharon Brous)
Sink the Bismark! (CS Forester)
Hidden Potential (Adam Grant)

Buy Cal’s latest book, “Slow Productivity” at
Thanks to our Sponsors:

This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at

Thanks to Jesse Miller for production, Jay Kerstens for the intro music, Kieron Rees for slow productivity music, and Mark Miles for mastering.

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