Ep. 243: In The Weeds!

Cal Newport answers 10 questions from his audience ranging from idea management to the Deep Life to writing. Throughout all the answers, you’ll hear Cal explain his core concepts and how they apply to everyday working life.

Link to submit questions:

Below are the questions covered in today’s episode (with their timestamps). For instructions on submitting your own questions, go to

Video from today’s episode:


– Why doesn’t Cal care about idea management systems? [2:35]
– Does Cal still use Workflowy to capture tasks? [12:52]
– Are women better at multi-tasking than men? [16:45]
– What is the difference between pursuing depth versus passion? [23:01]
– What are the “Contemplation” and “Celebration” buckets in the context of the Deep Life? [28:45]
– What’s the best way to study math? [32:45]
– Can I jump from a master’s at a small school to a PhD at a prestigious one? [35:08]
– How do I know if I’ve successfully cultivated a Deep Life? [37:00]
– How do I become a successful political nonfiction writer? [44:22]
– Is the Deep Work hypothesis affected by survivorship bias? [50:25]


Thanks to our Sponsors: Promo Code: Deep

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