Study Hacks Blog Posts from August, 2015 - Study Hacks - Cal Newport

Deep Habits: Process Trumps Results for Daily Planning

August 14th, 2015 · 48 comments


The Planning Pitfall

Daily plans are tricky.

As I’ve long maintained, if you don’t give your time a job, it will dissipate in a fog of distracted tinkering. Simply having a to-do list isn’t enough: you need to provide the executive center of your brain a more detailed target to lock onto.

There is, however, a pitfall with this productivity strategy that I stumble into time and again: it’s easy to start associating “success” for your day with accomplishing your plan exactly as first envisioned, and to label any other outcome as a “failure” — a belief that triggers near constant frustration for most jobs.

Read more »

Einstein Was Boring Before He Was Brilliant

August 5th, 2015 · 49 comments


The Einstein Myth

The story has become lore.

Albert Einstein was a rebellious student who chafed against traditional schooling and earned bad grades. After his university education, his brilliance was overlooked by a conformist academy who refused to give him a professorship. Broke and unemployed, Einstein settled for a lowly job as a patent clerk.

But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Free from the bonds of conventional wisdom, he could think bold, original thoughts that changed the world of physics.

The reality, of course, is more complicated.

Read more »