In this episode we continue our recurring “Productive Reading” series, this time talking about my key takeaways from Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport.
Being more intentional about our use of digital tools can increase our productivity and enhance our quality of life
In past episodes of our recurring Productive Reading series, we’ve talked about the lessons and key takeaways I found in books such as Gary Keller’s The ONE Thing (episode 133), The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg (episode 147), 3 books written by Brené Brown (episode 166), Soulful Simplicity, by Courtney Carver (episode 182), The Free-Time Formula by Jeff Sanders (episode 211), James Clear’s wonderful Atomic Habits (episode 230), Free to Focus, by Michael Hyatt (episode 250), Attention Management, by Maura Nevel Thomas (episode 271), The Minimalist Home, by Joshua Becker (episode 324), and most recently, Effortless, by Greg McKeown (episode 349). This time I’m sharing some of my most important takeaways from a 2019 book by Cal Newport, who’s the author of, among other things, the best-selling Deep Work. I recently read his 2019 release, Digital Minimalism, and I’ve been looking forward to talking with you about it.
Who is Cal Newport?
From the back cover copy:
Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University and the author of six books, including Deep Work and So Good They Can’t Ignore You. You won’t find him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, but you can often find him at home with his family in Washington, DC, or writing essays for his popular website, calnewport.com.
Why did I read this book?
I’ve heard about this book from several sources I respect, and I was intrigued by its premise, especially since I’ve personally struggled with the conflict between the convenience and utility of the devices and apps I use and the overwhelm of being always on. I thought this book would offer some insight into regaining some sense of control and peace in what Newport refers to as “our tech-saturated world.”
On the front flap, it says
Common-sense tips like turning off notifications, or occasional rituals like observing a digital Sabbath, don’t go far enough in helping us take back control of our technological lives, and attempts to unplug completely are complicated by the demands of family, friends, and work. What we need instead is a thoughtful method to decide what tools to use, for what purposes, and under what conditions.