Do Less. Do Better. Know Why.

Cal Newport has long written about the intersection of digital technology and culture, with a focus on doing deep work (which is he refers to as the “ability to concentrate without distraction on a demanding task”), digital minimalism (which should “radically reduce the time you spend online, focusing on a small number of activities chosen because they support things you deeply value”) and Attention Capital Theory (related to the brain’s ability to create new value through sustained attention).

The following is taken from a recent article of his.

My philosophy for achieving this goal can be reduced to three simple rules:

Do fewer things. To “do less” is to slow down. Focus on one activity at a time. Do less total activities. Be willing to pass through occasional interludes of full non-productivity.

Do them better. To “do better” is to direct your focused energy toward quality activities, when possible. Given the same scraps of weekend free time, you could either painfully coax a garden irrigation system into efficient operation (see above), or you could binge Netflix.

Know why you’re doing them. Finally, to “know why” is to get at the very core of the deep life mindset. Working backwards from your values to determine your activities creates a lifestyle dramatically more meaningful than working forward from whatever seems appealing in the moment. It’s the difference between resilience and anxiety; satisfaction and distraction.

Visit https://www.calnewport.com/ for more great insights.

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