Cal Newport Quote

The first thing I do is take a final look at my e-mail inbox to ensure that there’s nothing requiring an urgent response before the day ends. The next thing I do is transfer any new tasks that are on my mind or were scribbled down earlier in the day into my official task lists. (I use Google Docs for storing my task lists, as I like the ability to access them from any computer—but the technology here isn’t really relevant.) Once I have these task lists open, I quickly skim every task in every list, and then look at the next few days on my calendar. These two actions ensure that there’s nothing urgent I’m forgetting or any important deadlines or appointments sneaking up on me. I have, at this point, reviewed everything that’s on my professional plate. To end the ritual, I use this information to make a rough plan for the next day. Once the plan is created, I say, Shutdown complete, and my work thoughts are done for the day.

Cal Newport

The first thing I do is take a final look at my e-mail inbox to ensure that there’s nothing requiring an urgent response before the day ends. The next thing I do is transfer any new tasks that are on my mind or were scribbled down earlier in the day into my official task lists. (I use Google Docs for storing my task lists, as I like the ability to access them from any computer—but the technology here isn’t really relevant.) Once I have these task lists open, I quickly skim every task in every list, and then look at the next few days on my calendar. These two actions ensure that there’s nothing urgent I’m forgetting or any important deadlines or appointments sneaking up on me. I have, at this point, reviewed everything that’s on my professional plate. To end the ritual, I use this information to make a rough plan for the next day. Once the plan is created, I say, Shutdown complete, and my work thoughts are done for the day.

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About Cal Newport

Calvin C. Newport (born 1982) is an American non-fiction author and associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University.