Learning that Fuels Deep Work


flickr photo shared by Joe Goldberg under a CC BY license

Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work, left a lasting impression on me. It’s the reason I wanted to interview him for Curious Minds. 

He’s such a smart and thoughtful guy.

While many productivity theorists and practitioners focus solely on work outputs, Cal keeps us honest on the inputs, too.

He steps back to ask himself, “Am I working on the right things?” “Am I pursuing work that matters?” Sure. I can get a lot done, but is the “a lot” worth doing?

That got me thinking about what fuels the outputs. For me, that fuel takes the form of lots of deep thinking, learning, doing, and running what I like to call creative experiments.

The Curious Minds podcast has been one of those creative experiments. It’s a vehicle for pushing my thinking and learning.

It grew out of the curiosity I had to speak with the authors of the books I was reading and to share those conversations with the world. I feel lucky that I get to speak with people who’ve taken a large chunk of time out of their lives to write about something that can help us rethink — and maybe even challenge — how we think about our lives and the world around us.

Clearly, anyone I interview has written a book that’s intrigued me — and I hope you — in some way. Right now, there are two books I want to recommend for deep learning:

Doug Rushkoff’s Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus


Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna’s The Age of Cryptocurrency

Doug’s interview came out today. He’s an incredible thinker, teacher, and doer.

Michael’s interview will be out in the near future.

These are books you can really sink your teeth into. Their authors are drawing on history, economics, politics, technology and more to help us reflect on and critique aspects of work and life we may often take for granted. They help us see the world with fresh eyes and give us a taste of what the future may hold.

If you’re looking for a mind jolt, I think you’re in for a treat.

Enjoy! And let me know if you’ve read anything lately that’s done the same for you.