Focus Is The New I.Q: Professor Cal Newport
How good are you at focusing? Is it easy for you to concentrate on a task for chunks of time without interruption, or can you only go a few minutes before you start checking email or Facebook? Our first guest, Cal Newport, is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University. In addition to studying the theoretical foundations of our digital age, Newport also writes about the impact of these technologies on the world of work. His most recent book, Deep Work, argues that focus is the new I.Q. in the modern workplace and that the ability to concentrate without distraction is becoming increasingly valuable.
In Deep Work, Cal flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he celebrates the power of its opposite: the ability to focus intensely on cognitively demanding tasks; a skill he calls “deep work.” Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.