8 Productivity Books To Change Your Life. Here's What Actually Works. | Cal Newport

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Intro (00:00)

So that's what we're going to do today. Our deep question we're going to explore What are the best ideas from other productivity authors? All right, let's get started. I'm gonna bring up pictures of these books on the screen So if you're just listening to this you can find the video at the deep life calm This is episode 265 the videos are linked at the bottom. All right. So the first book I have on the screen right now The the OG the goat of the productivity boat book space that is Stephen Covey's The seven habits of highly effective people Very important book in the space also led to I don't know five or six years of everyone having numbers in their titles So I don't know if that's a good legacy or a bad legacy I think we've gotten past that now before a while After the seven habits came out there were so many books that had the eight habits of this the six habits of this the nine laws for this We sort of moved past that but that was a trend it started all right.

Overview: Renowned Books And Life Strategies

Stephen Covye, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (00:36)

This book is a little bit older It's an incredibly influential book. It has sold millions upon millions of copies. I read this when I was in high school So it was very influential on me for a long period of time. So what's the big idea? I want to pull out of this book Start with the end in mind All right, so this is a key notion from Covey which is productivity for productivity sake is meaningless Why are you being more organized? Why are you keeping better track of things? You need to figure out what it is you are trying to do With your life with your work in your role as a parent in your role as a community leader and all the productivity should be working backwards to support that vision So it instrument the lies is productivity towards Much more philosophically or spiritually important goals That is a very influential idea not just for me but for anyone who's writing in the sustainable productivity or the The sustainable productivity or the humanist productivity tradition a lot of that goes back to Stephen Covey and seven habits of highly effective people So if you know what you're trying to do then you can care about Oh, this is why I'm organizing my calendar and keeping track of my task and making sure that I'm balancing the Important but non urgent work with the non important but urgent tasks that are pulling for my attention All these really good on the ground tactical productivity ideas that come out of this book are all aimed towards big picture goals What am I trying to do in these different parts of my life? Obviously this resonates with how we talk about productivity on the show it resonates with the notion of the deep life It resonates with lifestyle center career planning cuddies shadow Lumes large in a lot of what we talk about here. So that's an important book. Don't be turned off by the number in the title This is actually a much deeper book than you might be thinking if you've never read it All right book number two Another classic from the genre David Allen's getting things done Now people think about getting things done people who don't know the book Often character sure what they think it's about because of the title So those who are writing in the more recent Anti-productivity camp often see that title and say well this this book is part of a whole industry that Valorizes Getting as much things done as possible the

David Allen, Getting Things Done (03:04)

getting things done is all that matters They're accomplishing more task off your list is what matters and and it's part of this productivity Protestant work ethic complex that just tries to push us to do more and more But David Allen's book is way more Complicated and interesting than that I actually wrote a whole long-form New Yorker piece about this a few years ago called The rise and fall of getting things done and it's about David Allen and it's about Merlin man And it's about the evolution of the productivity industry and it's a cool article and it's a rich topic Now your first hint if you've never read this book Your first hint that there's more going on here than someone just saying do more work is the subtitle Look at the subtitle of this book the art of stress-free productivity Stress-free and art are in the subtitle. This is not what you would expect from a book That's about how to crush your task list. So what's really going on? Well if you read this book you see what Alan cares about is psychological sustainability his concern is As you get more and more to do which by the way he just posits as an unfortunate reality of modern work Not as a goal that your per your pursuit. He says this is the unfortunate reality of work is the 90s giveaway to the 2000s is that we have more and more to do and this is very stressful and I want to find a way to make this Unavoidable reality of modern work less stressful. How do we get more psychological sustainability? From a world of work that demands a to-do list that are 50 things long email inboxes that are clogged inbox trays that are overfilling So he's not pushing. It's good to do more work. He says how in the world can we survive that reality? How do we present prevent that from being too stressful? So one of the big ideas from his book the idea. I want to isolate here is that open loops generate stress So open loop is his term for some sort of obligation or commitment that you've made That is not captured somewhere that you can trust It's an obligation or commitment that you're really just keeping track of in your mind Alan is pointing out that is a major source of stress and anxiety in work if you answer an email and say Yeah, I'll work on that project and you're not really keeping track of that anywhere else But in your brain it's going to use up brain resources and be this little engine That generates a little background thrum of anxiety if you have 50 or 60 things that you're sort of supposed to be working on or you said you've been working on and You don't have it written down anywhere We've written it down somewhere that you don't trust you're going to look each one of those things each one of those what he calls open loops little engine of anxiety Going in your brain and it all adds up and that's what stresses us out and that's what makes work psychologically unsustainable So the entire program and getting things done is full capture How do you have a single trusted system? Where once something gets written in it you do not have to think about it You know you will see it there in that system when the time comes How do you build a system like this and make sure that everything that you've committed to be it implicitly or? Explicitly let it whether it be very large or whether it's just hey call back and give me this information How do you make sure that everything you've committed to is in that system so your brain can just be? Free of trying to remember it free of the stress of forgetting and just focus on whatever you're doing right now Now does this actually work well it there's some issues I Mean Alan was working on this just as email and the hyperactive high-mind was getting out of control So the book is really right pre that period. I think the the world of checking an inbox once every five to six minutes Makes the getting things done methodology not so cleanly apply It's people now use their inbox to keep track of things There's much more interruption distraction when you have to keep checking these inboxes So it's not a panacea for our modern world But I think the key about this is that he's trying to reduce stress And the way he's trying to reduce stress is recognizing that keeping things track of things in your mind Is one of the biggest sources of this bad feeling so don't do that have good systems have full capture So that's the big idea from Alan Misunderstood I think when you really understand them you see he's much more on the side of humanist productivity Then he is the straw man that the anti-productivity camps often make him out to be When your Google is booked your article is one of the first things that comes up. Oh there we go Is your Google getting things done? Yeah now there we go deep work and getting things done We're often in competition for top spot on Amazon's I guess time management list So the books that live at the top of that list are deep work getting things done the for our work week and essentialism Which will also two other books we'll talk about mm-hmm. Yeah, so we're all we're all in the mix up there All right, let's uh speaking of these let's go to book three Tim Ferriss the four hour work week Escape the nine to five live anywhere and join the new rich this book came out in 2007. I remember this book coming out because My mutual friend with Tim so Tim and I shared a mutual friend of remit sethi and I remember in 2007 remit saying hey kel You got to read this book this friend of mine Tim has it's a crazy.

Tim Ferriss (08:45)

He's done some crazy things his book is really going to blow up You got to read this and I listened to it on audio. I remember for all of those sort of Cambridge people out there I was living near Huron village in Cambridge outside of Boston. I remember listening to this walking on Porter Street Towards Porter Square. I don't know why I have this memory I just do to go to the brooger bagels near Porter Square listening to The four hour work week. It's just this really clear memory that I have Very influential book. I also wrote a New Yorker article about this There's a good piece from a couple years ago where I interviewed Tim And I interviewed him about where the book came from and what the reaction was like when the book came out This is also a book that I think has been Overlooked in recent years. I don't really know why this was one of the the questions I asked in that New Yorker piece What Tim was talking about in 2007 is actually super relevant to what people were talking about in 2021 in 2022 when they were thinking about post pandemic Rethinking their lives and the role of work in their lives and where they live and what they do and what their life is like and everyone was Rediscovering this idea of there's more to life than just work and Tim had written the defendant a book on this And wasn't part of the conversation but should have been So what's the core idea? I want to point out from the four hour work week It's the notion that work is a tool to use in implementing an ideal lifestyle This was very influential to me because Tim basically separated your ideal lifestyle from work So you figure out what you want to do he called him mini retirements You know he had all these examples in his book of people in their 20s that would live in Argentina and take tango lessons and leat rent a helicopter to go up and Drink some malbec up in the mountains These really sort of uh, amazing things that like people in their 20s would really care about You like look this these cool lifestyles work is just about funding that and once you know that then you can start to get pretty clever And say well, how much money do I need? Well, I can reduce that amount if I live overseas in a place where the dollar is stronger And he goes into all of these these systems for uh, Automating your work and simplifying your work and basically creating Little money engines not things that are going to make you rich But things that would generate enough money that you could do tango in Argentina And he called that lifestyle design Now I think he got dismissed in part because the specific examples he gave were the examples that again a 28 year old In 2006 would be thinking about but the broader point underneath this book I think is

To Live Your Best Life (11:25)

much more general and much more impactful, which is this idea that it's the lifestyle ultimately that matters Work is something that supports that and it might support it by just being a money source and you want to minimize as footprint as much as possible Or it might support it much more substantially like what you're doing with your work Helps put into your life specific things that you like or let's you live in a place you really like But you have to see it instrumentally and again This was really different than the way that people were seeing careers in the period leading up to this book The first decade of the 2000s. This was the rise of passion culture. It was the peak of passion culture it was the peak of this idea that the secret to happiness was following your passion with your career Only through matching your job to what you loved could you find passion and tim said forget that The things you're going to make your life happy might have very little to do with work But you know what in this new world of technology and internet You could probably find ways to make enough money if you're a smart person and have some Advantages you can make enough money to go do things cool right now. I think it's a really influential idea Uh Definitely an influence on me. I think you see that in lifestyle centric career planning work backwards from the lifestyle I think you see it in my deep lifestyle thinking work is in there But it's in there along with other sort of things that you're all deploying towards the vision of making your life deeper before I work week as an influential book and I mean really think it helped kick off this notion of Work to live as opposed to live to work. That's really kind of dominate right now in our discourse about productivity and happiness All right book number four Bring it up on the screen here This is greg mccuins essentialism Uh this book came out a couple years before deep work very popular book very influential. I know greg I think greg may have been on this podcast way back in the early days. I've certainly been on greg's podcast that you know I the early days of this podcast are hazy but he's a friend of mine. I like to think of him as a friend of the show So essentialism, what's the the idea I want to isolate there Saying no Can make you more valuable So the whole book about essentialism is about doing less things we do too much in work And we should do less things in work and and why you should do that and how to do that But there is a story in there that really stuck with me And the story was of an employee that was overwhelmed. I forget exactly what industry is and some sort of management consultant the type thing Really overwhelmed with work. And so he hatched this plan of you know what i'm going to do. I'm going to partially retire Maybe i'm just going to do some consulting on the side. I can make this work financially. So he knew he was going to leave the job So he said why not before I actually leave the job why don't I launch an experiment? What if I just say no to most things Because this was his big problem is that all these different bosses and colleagues were always throwing stuff on his plate And he thought the way to get ahead was to be agreeable and say yes to everything be the person they could count on to I'll take what you want me to do and i'll get it done.

Working Less (14:42)

And it was really exhausting him That's why he was going to quit. He's like what if I just before I quit I just said no to most things. He just kept my focus on the really most important projects. He's like, hey, I'll probably get Yelled at but I was going to leave anyway. So why not? He tries this experiment And what happens he gets promoted He starts saying no to more things and he gets promoted Why because when you say no in the moment of course there's a little bit of uh social uncomfortableness But no one's tallying that up somewhere your score of social uncomfortableness and how high is that getting what do they notice is the work that You're actually completing and by being able to focus on a smaller number of things and do those things better He began to gain More attention for the great stuff he was producing and that was way more valuable than him saying yes in the moment So he didn't end up needing to leave his job. He fixed his overload problem by just saying no Instead of it being something that he had to figure out how can I get my employer to tolerate me doing less It turned out that his employer Celebrated him After he started doing less Now that's not always possible right different jobs have different social dynamics and power hierarchies But I think this core idea that doing fewer things better can produce more value for you and your employer than doing lots of things mediocre Is very influential It not only justifies the whole program of essentialism that mccuhan talks about it became a core plank of Slow productivity the first principle of slow productivity which says Do fewer things This is not just about I want to be less stressed It actually can be a strategy for being better at what you do whether you work in a big company or just handling clients on your own So essentialism did really well and I think in part people recognized overload was an issue and there was some optimism in this idea that Doing less is not just a survival move. It might actually be a move towards advancement Let's roll along here to a more recent book It's ones by my friend all over bergman 4,000 weeks Time management for mortals. This came out in 2021 Uh did very well in both the uk where bergman's from and here in the u.s The book did the book did very well I like to take a small amount of credit for that because I I helped convince tim ferris that you would like this book And he did and then he had bergman on his show and having bergman being on the ferris show Pushing a book that ferris likes Helps you sell books.

4000 weeks (17:11)

I don't know if you know about that But that that does pretty well Uh, anyways this book did really well. It really hit a cord for a what we think of as a sort of an exhausted in phase pandemic Audience of people who were just burnt out from work and zoom and and and this book hit hit a really good cord All right, so what's the big idea? I want to pull out of 4,000 weeks Accepting you don't have time to do most things Except you except you don't have time to do most things Um that you want to do can help you chill out now. All right, so let me say that better Accepting that you don't have enough time to do most things can help you be more relaxed right now Oliver does a better job explaining this than me But what i'm getting at here is that basically the core Of this book is this notion that you're only going to live on average about 4,000 weeks. That's not that much time So most things that you could do you're not going to do So instead of obsessing about the border of like well, what if I could have done this and I didn't this Enjoy the things that you are doing and be okay with you're not doing most If you can't get close to doing any anywhere near the whole list of possibilities You're saying no to most things anyways Why stress out about that small border of things that maybe you could squeeze in but you didn't? What if you just didn't squeeze in the extra thing and said i'm okay with this I like what's going on with my work It's sustainable right now. I like the people I work with it's flexible Uh, I like what i'm doing. That's good. I have like one hobby This is I like this hobby I work on and sometimes I don't and the sunset's nice Yeah, it's it's a a push towards more of a present Focus on presence a focus on savoring what you do have a focus on Accomplishing more things making that list longer isn't necessarily going to make me much happier But it could create a lot of unnecessary stress or self-recrimination. So it was a call to slow down To be happy with what you did have A lot of people were feeling this coming out of the pandemic. So I think this book hit The the culture at a really good time They weren't looking to add more to their list They're looking to simplify and be okay with that simplification Again, it's a big idea influential on my slow productivity philosophy as well Doing less things keeping the pace natural trying to do those things really well, but being okay with it taking a lot of time That's a very congruent with an Oliver Berkman 4000 weeks style mindset All right moving on Six book I want to talk about here is dineodels how to do nothing All right, this is a book that came out The week I think the same week as my book digital minimalism So there's a period there these books were seeing kind of as being in similar A similar category.

How to do nothing (19:52)

So we we did some things together the books were reviewed together often The New Yorker had a geotolentino piece that Co-reviewed my book and jinnies the New York Times book review did something that that had my book and jinnies So we were sort of intertwined there for a while because we were both dealing in part with distraction and the attention economy This book was very successful New York Times bestseller Brock obama put it on his list of recommended books his reading list for 2000 And 19 So it's it's a good book. It's a deep book. It's a complicated book it has more of a foundation in Actual academic thinking than a lot of other books in this space there's a particular Italian Marxist philosopher the jinnies very influenced by And so you have a particular academic lineage from this particular Italian Marxist that that is being updated to apply to the social media age by jenny So this is it's more academic than a lot of books in the space, which I think is part of part of its appeal But the idea I want to pull out of this now, which I think was important Is the notion that the attention economies? Monetization of our attention led us to increasingly monetize our own time So what jenny is trying to say here is the attention economy so these apps that want you to look at their apps on the phone For clear capitalist reasons see your moments of attention as a resource to commodify and sell okay, so we know this TikTok wants you to spend more time looking at tiktok because it can package up your attention and the data describing that attention and sell it Same for instagram same for twitter What jenny is saying okay, this influences the way that we then begin to personally think about time We're so used to this notion that we've been trained By these economic forces this economic reality We've been trained to think about moments as something that can be transformed into something that someone's going to value It becomes hard then to just exist and be present in a moment We could be monetizing this I could be documenting this and putting this on instagram where it could get likes So even though we don't directly participate in the monetization of our attention Instagram is not sending us a check for the amount of eyeball minutes that are video captured We still adopt this mindset of time is something to be commodified Time is something to be productively transformed Into attention into something that is valued by someone else and she says in that mindset shift We lost a lot of our humanity and so what was her? Suggestion her recourse to this reality was do nothing relearn how to do nothing relearn how to just be in a field watching birds So del is an amateur ornithologist. She likes looking at birds For no other reason than it's just this is I just like to see this bird and it's peaceful out here Isn't that nice? That she says it's become an act of resistance a political resistance to do nothing To go do something just for the enjoyment of doing this with no documentation No mindset towards the monetization of this moment capturing attention trying to document it for others I think this really hit a chord as well in 2019 We had reached this peak of new dissatisfaction with the social media age and and her message was Was just right Because she was she was given a complicated critique for why we feel the way we feel It's a really cool idea I like it doing nothing as an act of resistance And even when you strip off the sort of Marxist anti-capitalist framework of thinking here There's a deeper truth that I think most people recognize which is that there is a deep satisfaction and an experience that's had just for the experience We know this This has been intertwined into both secular and eastern philosophical traditions for a long time However, we want to explain why this is true We derive great satisfaction Out of being able to spend a moment just being there in that moment. So adele. I think I Give us nice support to that timeless claim All right, I got two more here speaking of timeless claim. Uh, here's another book. I really liked It's called make time How to focus on what matters every day.

Make Time (24:21)

This is by jake nap and john Zoraski They're from google What they had done over at google if I understand the backstory right is that they had taken this Sprint methodology that's very popular in software development You say to a small number of programmers work on adding this feature for the next few days and do nothing else And then let us know when you're done and over at google They had adapted this to other type of work not just programming Let's just work on one thing as a group and just do that without distraction till it's done In make time they then are generalizing this idea into personal productivity How to you you spread this idea into your own personal productivity practices The key piece of that I want to pull out is the following Design your days around focusing on what matters most the rest will work itself out I think that's a key idea Prioritize I want to work on this thing that really matters and maybe that means for a few hours every day or maybe I put aside an entire day and do nothing but work on this thing that matters And that can make you uncomfortable because of the emails you're missing and the task you could be crossing off your list But jake and john say this is what's going to this is the engine of your success It's a really important stuff getting done well Everything else will work out It'll work out people won't notice they'll forget but if you accomplish the core thing you're supposed to do well Everything else will follow. I think it's a great idea. It's one that of course I I preach in deep work It's one I preach in my new book on slow productivity and I think jake and john have a lot of great examples to back it up All right one more book one more idea final book Comes from our friend laura van der cam her personal productivity classic 168 hours That's the number of hours in a typical week.

168 Hours (25:51)

You have more time than you think that's the subtitle kind of interesting Tension with all of her bergman's four thousand weeks. It's all about you don't have that much time So stop trying to do too much and laura's is you have more time than you think it's because we're operating on different scales Here's the core idea from laura's book the core idea. I want to I want to pull out here You're not working as much as you think Your sense of overload comes from uh what you're doing With your work hours. This was the big surprising point from laura's book is that she had a lot of people actually keep track of their time She calls it the time diary method people actually keep track of what did I do with every hour of my day? And then she went back and she studied these time diary logs what she saw us. There's often a big disconnect Between how busy people think they are and how much work they're actually doing so you'll ask someone Well, how much are you working in it like look I got to be doing 60 70 hour weeks And you look at the time diary and you say well no you're working 35 to 40 hour weeks Now, what do we take away from that? Well, we could just say, yes, I could up you're not really that busy, but no the real message to take away from that is why Why do you feel like you're working so much? If even the the time diary laura says it's not actually that much and it's because it's how we approach our work It's this fragmented way we approach it. This isn't me throwing on my spin here this switching back and forth rapidly between many different things The cognitive attacks have overload of your mind knowing you have more things going on than you can even imagine completing this all stretches out and exaggerates our senses of busyness So one of laura's big messages are if you're more careful about your time Organizing when you work on what being careful about what you bring on your plate be careful about your systems Without even having to substantially change much of what you're actually working on from a quantity standpoint You can make yourself feel

Top books to Change Your Efficacy (28:17)

much less much less overworked If you just get a little bit more intentional about your time, you might have more time to work with than you think Now this idea of course resonates with me as well my multi scale planning philosophy multi scale time management planning philosophy Is a perfect way it is built around actually confronting the reality of your work and your schedule and making the most of it And it does make a big difference and again This is something I think the anti productivity advocates often get wrong They think about these systems or they think about books like laura As being focused on trying to fit more in Oh, you have more time than you think great. We can fit in more work. That's not laura's point Her point is you have more time than you think so if we get smarter about how we organize your work, you can be less stressed Same thing with multi scale productivity planning The anti productivity people will say oh the whole point of multi scale Time management is to try to fit more work in that's not the case It's about trying to take the work that you already have and make it more sustainable The more you can control the more you can turn down the volume of the stress and the overload Same as laura's book there. It's very valuable. All right. So jesse those are the eight books There's so many other books that I really like yeah if i'm omitting a book here It's not because I don't think it's important. It's just these are the first eight that came to mind They're they're eight that have really big ideas. I like there's another eight more I could probably list yeah There's also other ideas into these books. I'm just trying to pick out one idea in particular that I that I happen to like We could do future books in future episodes. We really should we really should and of course left out of this is my own books Of course, those all have big ideas So what we have now is we do have some questions that are all Roughly orbiting this theme of productivity and productivity books and big productivity ideas I mean that's a broad topic so we had no trouble finding those questions Before we get there though, I want to briefly mention one of the sponsors that makes this show possible And that is our friends at cozy earth bedding I have to say, you know, I mentioned this last time a couple weeks ago cozy earth sheets are my absolute favorite It was the thing I missed the most when I was up in new hamster This summer was having those sheets. 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This of course is cost effective as well You pay more upfront for the beautiful tool, but because you're the the blades are using you're so cheap It doesn't take long at all before the cost of using your hinson razor is much cheaper Then a subscription services or buying the expensive plastic things at the drugstore So it's time to say notice subscriptions and yes to a razor that will last you a lifetime Visit hinson shaving comm slash cal To pick the razor for you and use code cal to get two years worth of blades for free with your razor Just make sure you add the two-year supply of blades to your cart And then when you add the promo code cal the price of the blades will go down to zero That's 100 free blades when you head to hen s o n SH AVIG.com/cal and use that code cal Metalworking or soldering?

Hexson Razors (33:18)

Metalworking. Okay. I looked it up. Yeah, so they're they're precision metalworking At hinson shaving. I think we probably need like a metal precision metal mill in my maker lab Yeah, so I could just mold aluminum. Yeah, they could Sorry incorporate that in your light project Custom aluminum precision parts for my light project. All right. Ever that nonsense Jesse. Let's do some questions. Who do we have first?

Tim talks about handling ideas (34:12)

First questions from diana I'm a researcher and i'm trying to get better at time management One issue i keep growing up against is that I can't control nor anticipate when exactly i'll get that critical Aha moment of insight for a project I feel like the work that happens after they said aha moment is the most productive, but I obviously can't write Chase dead ends and mull over the rq for an undetermined period of time. Why? I'm struck on divine inspiration As an activity in my delivery plan. Do you have any advice? Well, man, this is a common question What happens when you have a big idea? You need to work on it, but you already have a plan for the day and it doesn't involve you working for the next two hours trying to chase Down a big idea Well, you have two options here So option number one if the idea is important work on it Because you have to remember if you're let's say you're planning your day using something like time block planning Of course check out time block planner.com for my own second edition of the time block planner, but if you're time blocking your hours It's easy to get into the mindset that you are playing a game Where you win if you never change your plan If you build the perfect plan and you stick with the plan and if you if you leave the plan then you've lost That's an easy game to fall into because our mind likes these simple binaries I win if I do this I lose if I do that, but it's not the point of time block play Why are you planning the hours of your day so that you can have intention about how you spend your time? What are you trying to avoid by time block in your day? Wasting particular time and energy doing low value activity for the moment or switching back and forth between a lot of things You don't want to Squander the time you put aside for work. You want to make the most out of it. So the time block plan gives you some intention So what happens if a really good idea pops up? Well working on that really good idea sounds like a very intentional use of your time as far as i'm concerned That's not wasting your time. That's not squandering your time. That's not just being distracted and letting three hours go That's an incredibly productive use of your time. I have an idea that's important to my work and i'm going to work on it So the big idea comes up work on it and then when you're done working on it next time you have a chance Cross out the remainder of time block plan and build the best plan you can for the time that remains That's it That satisfies the goal of i'm being very intentional about my schedule So once you leave that mindset that somehow Not changing your time block plan is winning Instead say what i'm trying to avoid is just not having a plan then you'll feel completely fine about pursuing A big idea in the moment All right now, let's say here's here's option number two.

Exploration Of Task Blocking & Career Management

What to do when you want to add a new task to your time block plan. (36:24)

Let's say it's an important idea But it's not critical that you work on it in the moment your your bigger concern is you don't want to forget it Like let's say for example you you're working on a book in the background now in a particular day You have a pretty busy day that has nothing to do with your book You have some meetings you're trying to get progress on some work stuff that's due And you have an insight right in the middle of this of uh for a chapter that you're going to work on your book Like you know what if I did this with this chapter is going to be much better You don't want to forget that but you also don't want to uh in this case It's not the best use of your time the deep six the rest of your work schedule to start working on your book What you can do in these cases is have a place anywhere to capture Notes about this take five minutes. Okay, uh, think about for chapter seven. This this this this this this this And then just put a note in your capture system Process my notes on the book chapter So if you're using something like a time block planner, you just put it right there in the little task list Remember I wrote down notes and I don't care if you wrote the notes in a $500 remarkable dedicated to books or in a text file that you just do in your desktop The point is you have a capture system you say process notes about books And now you can move on and return back to your time block schedule because you know At the end of the day as you go through your shutdown routine One of the things you're going to do is process all those tasks You've jotted down and when you see the task about uh, hey remember those notes I took on my book You can either move that into your permanent task system to deal with later or take some time right there to move those notes Over to wherever you're working on your book so that you'll see them next time you work on them And then that's handle So if it's something

How to manage a reactive schedule? (38:47)

that's important long-term, but not important that you work on it in the moment This is where you just throw down the notes somewhere put up placeholders What david allen would call a stake in the ground in your task system so you know you won't forget it So you can move your mind back a hundred percent of what you're working on And you move on All right, so then don't be worried about plans changing Uh, that's fine What you want to do is be intentional And if you have a lot of ideas you don't want to work on in the time Just make sure your capture system and shut down routines are up to up the code as they would say Because the key there is to make sure that this doesn't sit there like an open loop in your mind and distract you From the other work that you're returning to All right, here we have next jesse Next question is from john a surgeon Time block time blocking was always my safety net when my schedule got hectic as an undergrad or medical student But it's nearly impossible to do now that i'm a surgeon surgeries get added or removed at a whim new patients who need me To be seen immediately show up without notice, etc, etc And this isn't just a one one time thing I would say 75 or more my days are shaped on the fly This variability is an addition to the sheer time burning in my job pretty much 80 hours a week I need a new strategy to help me get things done. I hate the list reactive way of things But that's how i'm been getting by Well john surgery is one of these jobs just other jobs many of which are in medicine But others are in other fields that are by definition reactive It's i'm a surgeon if there is a surgical emergency. I have to go do this surgery Uh, there's also then going to be suddenly post stop checkups and other things to get thrown on my schedule So it sounds like you have a fundamentally reactive schedule You're not going to have the time block that Your days are going to be built around Here is my Major thing i have to do and being flexible. So what's the right thing to do in those cases? Is to simplify everything else you can about your job If you have one of these fundamentally reactive jobs You want to focus on doing these things in your case surgery as well as possible and trying to minimize Everything else you cannot i mean you can but i'm going to say you should not Take the mindset that you might have had as an undergrad or in med school where i am going to Establish my impressiveness by doing three or four different things and you're gonna be so impressed That i'm doing my studies and running this organization and training for this mirror i'm doing all these things at once and your impressiveness your impression of me is going to be driven by The quantity of different things i do you have to abandon that mindset you're a surgeon You want to be a good surgeon you want your life outside of surgery to be as flexible as possible So that if something pops up like this is what i'm doing today this surgery And this is a life where you're going to have downtime in between these things Flexibility flexibility flexibility that's what you want to be aiming for the stuff you do have to get done It's fine. You can tackle it day by day I have a really good capture system for your tasks be like Ongoing heuristics flexible heuristics for regular work Hey, if I could get three sessions a week in on my whatever duties as director of whatever lab at the hospital I'll be fine. Uh, so that can be helpful too. Okay. This day. I have room for one of these sessions These two days I didn't so I need to fit one in these last two days. So flexible heuristics good capture systems for tasks Fit in work where you have time during the day don't over schedule yourself Do all that but keep your overall number of obligations small You've already you're a successful impressive person. It's hard to be a surgeon do that well Don't do other things especially as you Collaborated in the longer version of this question you have been new you have kids they're new Your your family's young and growing and I'm seeing in your elaborated version this question these like national organizations you're involved with you got to get rid of all that I'm already impressed with you for being a surgeon. So just do that well with huge flexibility And that's what makes a job like that sustainable If you try to do the other things I want a Huge high high skill high time demand unpredictable job and do five or six other things There's really no recourse to that except for you stay up really late you work every weekend and my point there John is why You're doing interesting work and helping the world with being a surgeon is it really so important That you what become? Department head Or at your hospital at a young age or something, you know, it's the what end You're making a lot of money. You're doing something important. It's high skill that's satisfying So I've been increasingly pitching that to people that have fundamentally reactive jobs. They say great make your life easier Make your life as easy as possible given the reality of the highly reactive job That's pretty similar to the student advice you give to for you know kids like not doing to many Activities outside of school and just getting best grades.

Having a Job (43:11)

Yeah, don't do Uh, make your schedules easier. Yeah, it's like the number one When I used to work with college students to give talks about college students stress The number one source of college students stress was schedules that were too hard And there's very little you can do about a schedule that's really really hard If you have two majors and nine activities and a job There's nothing I could do to make that student's life sustainable. It's just too many things Yeah, and I would say what you got to do is do less I used to have the the slides when I would give a talk at this case study I don't remember the guy's name. It started with it was like tof or something like this was kind of weird He was a student and he had this uh this interesting case study where he had gone To a study abroad in australia. I believe it was so before he went to a study abroad in australia Uh, he was completely burnt out And because he had multiple majors and all these clubs and a job and he was really stressed out and he went to australia And for a bunch of contingent reasons Uh, he couldn't get a he couldn't get a job because he was from a different country He couldn't get all the the normal hard course load because he had to get majors approved And he couldn't get most of the courses approved and it turned out to do activities Extracurricular activities you had to pay for an activity card that he couldn't afford So he was doing a Underscheduled course load no activities. No job It was this huge epiphany for him. He's like wait a second I just have more than enough time to focus on my courses He crushed the courses because he had so much time to focus on them Uh, the professors thought he was a star so he comes back from the study abroad Cut off all the activities reduces his major gives himself this huge schedule Uh hugely open schedule crushes his courses his professors think he's a star And all these opportunities opened up. Yeah, and the slides I used to use was he took a snapshot of his calendar From now at the time with his simplified schedule and it was like course course Empty day course like just all this white And then he used the time machine feature on his mac to go back a year earlier and take a snapshot of his calendar on the same week From a couple of years before and it was just just completely full of stuff I used to show those two side by side. So yeah Doing fewer things is such a powerful tool Uh, but you just get trained.

New Productivity Book Ideas (45:31)

I'm sure john. I'm kind of surgeon. Yeah, great grades You know went to a medical school crushed it in medical school. Got a good residency Got a good fellowship always impressing everyone. So you just have this mindset of I do a lot of things And that's what makes me impressive But by the time you get to the thing you're going to do you're going to be a surgeon. No just do your surgery well And engineer the rest of your life to be as livable as possible given that reality. Yep. Yeah, people don't often think that All right, let's keep rolling Next questions from rachel You've often mentioned how the business of books is to continually keep contact coming as the demand never ends How should one couple this insight with the plethora of productivity and self-help books that are constantly published Can there be that many new ideas? Well rachel my advice is every time you're tempted to buy A book on any topic really if you want to maximize your return Instead go and buy multiple copies of my books Because you know you're not going to be let down by my books. Everyone should just buy my books and get in again Now are we running out of ideas? Uh, here's the thing rachel Yeah, your premise is correct. So when you say here The business of books is to continually keep content coming. It is true The point that publishers biggest issue is actually they don't have enough books to publish Because there is a lot of books are bought each year. There's a lot of people buying books the more Books they can put out in some sense the better So why do they have a hard time getting enough books to fill their pipelines? Well, it's actually because their standards are high Right. I mean that for a publisher to publish a book they want it to be a good book Well written with a good idea written by someone who makes sense that they wrote it So this is why i'm saying if you can if you can cross that bar as an aspiring writer I have something to say that people care about I can write it well and i'm the right person to write it You're not going to have that Much of a hard time getting a book deal book publishers are not in the business of gatekeeping so much as in the business of desperately trying to find Good stuff to publish, but what does that mean for the reader? Well, there's a lot of readers and there's a lot of genres And so I would not worry that in your particular genre you care about that there's going to be too many books So let's consider productivity in particular. I think there's this There's this understanding this vision of the world of productivity books That a lot of people hold And I think it's completely disconnected from reality So if you talk to a lot of people their their guests at the productivity book space Is that there are hundreds of these books being published every year and most of them are saying you got a hustle You got to do more things busyness is great. It's bad. The not be not be working How can you do more work right you hear this this straw man vision of the productivity book industry is discussed all the time I mean people are always setting up like you know, I'm so brave because I'm pushing back against all of those books that are saying the more tasks you do the better And I'm saying you should do less task and I'm look I might get killed for this, but uh, I'm so brave Here's the reality No one's publishing that book I don't remember the last time I've seen a book I went over eight productivity books at the beginning of the show None of them are saying how do you do more work? How do you fit in more tasks? I can think of essentially I don't know one book that's ever really been about that and there was this book called extreme productivity And it was just a no-nonsense guide for executives It basically said look executives to succeed that you have to do a lot of things and here is how I as an executive Balanced a bunch of different things and tried to fit more in because he was being honest if you're a c-suite type It helps that's like the only book I can think of in the last 10 years that even was in the vicinity of saying how do you do a lot more things? Also the volume of books being published in the productivity space is pretty small I know this space very well. I know all the writers all the major writers in the space. I know the major editors in this space This is not a space that has a huge number especially for talking about big publishers Their high quality titles like books coming out of portfolio at penguin for example You're looking at these books. There's not that many that are coming out And they tend to be pretty thoughtful and have a pretty specific point of view You know like I have my book on slow productivity coming out uh The last book I wrote that was about work productivity I guess you go back three years to get like a world without email, but really that was more a critique of work that you got to go back Six years before that or five years to get too deep work.

Thoughtful productivity & staying safe online (49:50)

I mean these books don't come out that often So rachel I wouldn't worry about it if you're look at books about work and productivity That top tier publishers are publishing. These are thoughtful titles. There's not that many of them By the ones that resonate They're they're going to have ideas that are good It's just simply not the case that these big publishers are publishing nonsense They're just not there 10 ways to get more done does not exist as I made your publication book No one is publishing that right now. It does not exist So I think you're okay rachel This might not be the case in other genres, but the productivity genre I think is not as crowded or as poor quality as you might fear It's true. You know, it's just it's to the point now where if you publish the book that was like 10 ways to get a lot more done That book might actually do well because it would be so different than everything Yeah I mean every book right now in productivity always starts the same way I'm not one of these guys telling you the you know, they get more done and hustle Where are these guys? I cannot find these books I think if you leaned into the opposite and are just like do more stuff because that's what matters 50 tips The contrarianism of that actually ironically paradoxically might make that book sell really well Well one of those guys you could probably find you know from those like on youtube with those They're on youtube. Yeah. Yeah, youtube like that social media youtube has this weird Productivity culture, but youtube has a lot of weird cultures because there's a lot of people publishing video Who's on there? There's a whole culture on there are people who just work like 10 hours and they film it So here's a 10 hour video of me working. Yeah, that's all that's all I was thinking about But youtube just does this on every topic on every topic There's going to be a subculture where people push a topic to an extreme because that makes for interesting watching I mean, it's every topic If you're in the bread baking you can find a whole youtube subculture about Uh, i'm a hundred loafer. I bake a hundred loaves a day You know or I bake the biggest bread you've ever seen it's just Extremes work well on youtube so every topic has a subculture of extremes But that does not stand in for how the publishing industry thinks about productivity But if you take your advice you like we never see it because like we're on social media and we have those youtube blockers That's true and but the authors that write those other bugs probably do see it because they probably on social media Yeah, that's right. You're right those of us writing these books. We're not As seen on youtube with like here's a video of me just working a little bit and then going and doing something else It's not that interesting. I guess I'm hanging out with my kid because I didn't work that much today So well All right, what do we got?

Starting With the End in Mind (52:40)

Let's get a couple more in here Here's a question from kyle Your conversations about the deep life remind me some of the seven habits of highly effective people and in particular The goal to start with the end in mind was covey and influence of your thinking well kyle very perceptive Because we talked about this in the opening segment of today's episode. Yes. I think covey influenced me and a lot of people Who are in this sort of humanistic productivity space that's become so popular recently His early writing that book about starting with the end in mind Figure out what you're trying to do in the different roles of your life And then work backwards to figure out how your activities can be organized to support those visions. I think it's really important It grounded productivity As a means towards a more philosophically rich end and I think that has reemerged In our current moment of humanistic productivity where people are now thinking about all of this type of thinking As a way to intentionally craft your life and so you know you see covey's influence in so many important books in this space Tim ferris. I think that's that's very covey influenced Um, we're seeing it certainly in something like 4,000 weeks or uh, all of a bergman's book right again is very covey influence You only have so much time. What do you want to do with it? so I think that's um A good question and yes, I think covey which I read young definitely influenced me that You need a purpose for your productivity or you're going to find yourself in this sort of peak 2006 productivity pran Making your mac mac and tosh mac rose so that your ktg kg Td configuration can automatically pull task from your quick search quick silver Taskbar you just end up in that world of just optimizing because you think optimizing is fun Or productivity systems are like hot rods It's just you just get fun and tuning them up for the sake of tuning them up Not because it helps you get from here to where you're trying to go and that's fun for some people but That's where you end up If you don't ground productivity in bigger vision and covey help me do that. It's a good book I recommend people if you haven't read it read it.

Discovery: Productivity Tools & Leisurely Reads

Establishing discipline through external pressure (54:50)

It's it's not what you necessarily think All right, Jesse. Let's uh, let's do one more. We got time Uh, we have a question from chorissa I really like the concept of the deep life stack and especially the emphasis that is the iterative process rather than a linear process Does establishing discipline count if the discipline comes through an external pressure rather than for myself and pose structure I went back to school for my masters in my 30s And started off working a full-time job simultaneously This forced me into a routine where I had to be productive in the evenings instead of leaning into my usual sloth habits like watching tv Since finishing my degree and returning back to work. I've realized that unless I have an external pressure Then I have little sense of urgency that pressures me to consistently commit to an activity So i'm not sure if I established discipline for myself But have shown myself that I can work even when i'm tired and that the small consistent effort over time can yield results Well as we talk about on the show and when we talk about we talk about the deep life stack discipline is an identity So your goal is to convince yourself that you're a disciplined person by which we mean someone who can make effort towards something important Even if in the short term it's not fun or even if the short term, uh, there's no pressure to have to do so so Transforming yourself identity into a disciplined person is the foundation on which you could do all sorts of cool stuff in your life So the exposure to discipline you had by your degree program is useful It showed you what it's like to have a life that has more discipline in it. Okay. I got a work I got to follow a schedule. I can't just do what I want to do So that's useful. So that's no longer a mystery, but if you want to fully transition Your self identity to one of a disciplined person The next step and an unavoidable step Is introducing some things you do for no other reason than you think it's important So you do need to have Some disciplined pursuits for which there is not external pressure You do need to convince yourself I will deny myself this or pursue this or do this thing when I don't really feel like doing it today on a consistent basis Base purely on my own vision for what I want for my life Not because I'm going to fail out of this course or not because my boss is going to get mad So you still have that step ahead of you If you're not if you're worried about it, uh, I mean follow what I talk about we talked about the deep life stack start with some keystone habits Two to three things covering two to three different areas of your life Traicable not true non trivial, uh But also tractable so not super easy, but not really really hard Find that sweet spot in the middle make it three different parts of your life a professional thing a health and fitness thing And either a hobby or social connection thing And get those three keystone habits going That's how you begin To give yourself this self efficacious identity of discipline. I can do this even when I'm not being forced to so Non trivial tractable keystone habits covering a couple different areas do that for a month or two And then you can start layering in something that's a little bit more ambitious a more Progress towards a more ambitious self-driven pursuit do that for a while and you're your self identity is going to flip When you see yourself as a disciplined person Everything becomes possible and that's why I push that as the first step in moving towards the deep life It's not making the big decisions. It's not buying the peloton or moving to the country It starts with these small habits that you practice doing for no other reason than you think they're important for you and your vision of your life If you're someone who's willing to Put an effort now to shape a vision for what you want in the future. There's a lot that becomes available All right, uh, we got a final segment coming up here. I'm going to talk about the books I read in August, but first I want to mention another sponsor that makes the show possible They knew a sponsor, but I'm glad to have them and that's our friends at mosh M-o-s-h If you're busy and constantly on the go like me you need to try mosh.

MOTI/E4D (MOSH) & Mint Mobile (58:39)

It's a protein bar made for your brain All right, so mosh has six delicious flavors Each bar has 12 grams of protein and is made with ingredients that support brain health Like ashwagandha lions main collagen and omega threes At 160 calories and only one gram of sugar mosh protein bars are the guilt free snack your brain and body will crave I have really been enjoying the mosh bars because a they taste great It's uh, they're soft with some crunch in them, which I really like and the flavors are very good Um, I'm also someone who does not respond well to a lot of sugar. So I really like bars where look it's got some protein But it's not gonna be full of sugar and then of course you have the the collagen the lion's man the ashwagandha. Hey every little bit helps there This is a company that was founded by patrick short snager and maria shriver It's a mission driven brain health and wellness company that donates a portion of all proceeds to support women's brain research To the women's all-time risk movement at cleveland clinic So you could do what I do is just I have these around as one of the things I grab when I know for example I'm running over to the deep work HQ. We got some recording to do we might blow past lunch I want to make sure I keep going eat a mosh bar get some protein not too much sugar sharper my thinking a little bit good You know, it's a I want to get right into my first cup of coffee and get thinking in the morning Word though. I'm going to get a little tired mosh bar power you through to lunch. It's that perfect Tool to fill in the gaps to keep you going Without having to have a bunch of johnk having a bunch of sugar So don't settle for a mediocre snack when you can nourish your body and mind With a feel it needs to succeed. So whether you're at the gym on the go or just living your best life mosh protein bars Will keep your brain and body fit fueled and feeling good? head to mosh life.com/deep To save 20% off free plus free shipping on your first six count trial pack That's 20% off plus free shipping on your first six count trial pack Which includes all six mouth watering flavors m-o-s-h l-i-f-e dot com slash deep I also want to talk about our friends at mint mobile You might have noticed things are getting more expensive these days. That's inflation Gas groceries utility bills streaming services inflation is everywhere Thankfully, there's one company out there that's giving you a much needed break and that is mint mobile As the first company to sell premium wireless service online only Mint mobile lets you order from home and save a ton of money with phone plans that start at just $15 a month So you got huge savings right there If you have a mint mobile Mobile plan you can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan keep your same phone number along with your existing content You switch to mint mobile. You'll get premium wireless service starting at just 15 bucks a month I used mint mobile for my bat phone So a couple of years ago i've shown this on camera before I don't have it with me right now I wanted to have a backup phone. It was not a smartphone For periods where I was doing long bits of disconnected deep work But needed to be reachable in an emergency. So I just bought a phone a flip phone off amazon It was like 70 bucks Mint mobile is how I put service on that $15 a month. This is cheap And now I have a fully connected phone They made it really easy. I did online. They sent the car to put it in Simple So get your new wireless plan for just 15 bucks a month and get that plan shipped to your door for free Go to mint mobile.com/deep. That's mint mobile.com/deep To cut your wireless bill to 15 bucks a month and mint mobile.com/deep and jesse just Found the phone I knew it was in here somewhere.

Misбіль Update (01:02:44)

So if you're watching This is my super cool Definitely does not make me look like i'm 74 years old flip phone powered by mint mobile Amazon's best, but there you go. I just have to hold this jesse. This needs to be in a holster Hanging off my belt. Yeah, that's what i'm missing Or into my fanny pack, but i'm thinking like in a holster off my belt next to my fanny pack While you're installing the lights while i'm installing the lights because i'm an old man in metal working and metal soldering or whatever you looked up Soldering my own razors Oh my all right, uh Final segment. Hey, we're we're full of books today. We should have been really informally sponsored by people's books at Tacoma part Because we're just talking about books all day. Yeah, I'm just in a book mood Our final segment like I do every month as I talk about the five books. I read the month before So we're in september now so I should be reading about the books. I read in august 2023 All right, so these were all Mainly read when i'm still up in hand over at the montgomery house as part of my montgomery fellowship This is important because two of these books were written by past Montgomery fellows And the copies I read were signed copies of the books that were there on the bookshelf at the montgomery house So the first one of those was at home in the universe By the system biologist stewart koffman former montgomery fellow former mccarther genius grant winner This is a public-facing book about uh, he does a lot of work on self-organization How complex systems can arise in an emergent fashion How for example if you have enough reactive chemicals just mixed together in a soup There's a high chance that Among these interactions is going to emerge a self-sustaining auto catalytic system His work ties connections between biology and complexity theory And other types of mathematics.

Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery (01:04:29)

Anyway, I love this book. I'm a nerd for that stuff As a theorist as a computer scientist, I've done a reasonable amount of work at the intersection of algorithm theory and biological systems So this was speaking my language and I liked that it was a signed copy and knowing that this This guy koffman was in this house back in the 90s thinking about these thoughts Second book I read was the soul of an octopus by sine montgomery I believe lives in new hamshire vermont. I think maybe new hamshire Um, this book I picked it up at Bookstore a still north bookstore up in hanover new hamshire shout out Picked it up randomly. It's a science nature book that got a lot of acclaim I think it was a finalist for a national book award One some other nature science writing specific awards. It was not what I expected So I thought this was going to be uh A real deep dive on on how octopuses Think and their brains and their their evolution and their cool features and there was a lot of this But really the core of this book is that sai it's it's a it's a novelistic look at the human characters The book is actually about all of these interesting often in some ways Broken human characters who found healing through interactions with this animal So sai is spending a lot of time at the boston aquarium the new england aquarium in boston and it's it's the The uh the volunteers there the person in charge of this exhibit you get this novelistic look at their inner life And how these their interactions with octopuses in some sense healed them or saved them so it's a book about people And the octopuses in the book Are There to draw out this kind of nuanced picture of humans and life and meaning and it's like oh I see why this book won all these awards It wasn't what I thought so that it's a really cool book Soul of an octopus the only thing that's a little weird about it And maybe i'm just alone about this The way sai talks about being uh touched by an octopus So there's a lot of these a lot of time has spent a new england aquarium the octopuses would come over and like wrap their tentacles around your arm The way she talks about this is that it's just self-evidently the coolest best thing you could ever do It's like is there anything better?

Abduction by Robin Cook (01:06:39)

Than having octopus tentacles wrapped around your arms I mean it's it's almost weird to the degree to which it fetishizes being touched by octopuses as this like self-evident thing it's like you know combing the main of your pony type just like what could be better And it does not hit me that way. I like this is weird and gross and the octopus is going to face suck my face It's going to pull my arms in and rip my nose off with his beak. I would be terrible It's weird and slimy and they're hard to get off So that's the only thing that's really weird about this is like I don't think sai made the case that this is actually something that normal people like having octopus she's like Immediately in the book she's obsessed I got it. I had to get back. I had to get back and have another encounter with the octopus So I I thought caught my attention Dameo seemed weird and strange. I'd be afraid of an octopus. But anyways really good book The next book was not good at all One of the worst books i've read Recently, but you finished it. I Yeah, I got it from the Hanover library I was like, oh my god. I'm just gonna finish this All right. I feel bad. I met him once but he's not gonna listen to this that book was abduction by robin cook Not a good book. I like robin cook. This is the first time ever that you Talked about a book like this. I just didn't like this book So so this was he wrote this in the early 2000s. I don't know he's phoning it in robin cook Uh, you know, obviously writes typically medical thrillers His first book which I read earlier this year and talked on the show is fantastic his thriller coma is a fantastic thriller Most of his books are medical thrillers. He was a former doctor And he lives on beacon hill and writes these cool books I really like him as a writer. I I would to hear him talk into beacon hill civic society once and I I like a lot of his books This book is so damn weird It's okay. Here's what it's about and this is i'm this is I kept thinking early on like this is going to like it's going to be in their head and it's going to shift no Uh, people are in a submarine. They're doing deep seed drill Repair or something like that, right? Which is fine. He knows cook knows about this world He was involved in early navy experiments with deep seed diving. He was on submarine. So all these details are cool Um, they get sucked down this sort of vent at the bottom of the ocean. Okay and discover That there is a race of people who live between the earth's like crust and mantle in a giant underwater underground civilization and they've been there for hundreds of thousands of years people just live under the earth we didn't know about it and they uh, they all speak english and um, They have all this technology and basically these people are just down in this world of people who live underneath the earth They don't need sunscreen. They don't need sunscreen. Um, it's just preposterous And nothing really interesting half it just uh, it's just the craziest thing And he doesn't like lean into it. It's not a metaphor for things. It's not no, it's just here. We are. It's under the earth. It's like very unimaginative They're like they wear togas And you know the coolest thing about it is like when their bodies are going to die They can transfer their brains into like a new body or something And there's like some of the guys the divers who got stuck down there these like Completely characterature drunken oafs and they kill some people and they're hiding them in the freezer And they're like we have to escape I mean People living under the secret race living under the earth and it's just all played straight I don't know. I think it's funny then it's not good And there's like oh, I guess there's just a hidden race of people live under the earth. All right Moving on. It's just so stupid I like robin cook Do not like that book. Um All right, another muck gumory fellow book I read the aff the affluent society by john kyneth gallbreath so he's sort of famous work of So john keth gallbreath is from that sort of a generation of highly trained advisors from the kennedy era I think he went on to be the our ambassador to india at some point economist did a lot of thinking on sort of liberal economic theory There's this famous book he wrote in the 50s called the affluent society where he's saying essentially now that the us we were We're wealthy right we have to rethink Our economic policy as a as a as a wealthy superpower The we we need to rethink how we think about our economic policy than the way we might have thought about it before So it's a public-facing economic analysis book He was a montgomery fellow And they had a version that came out in the 70s and 90s.

Jon kyneth gallbreath Crown (01:10:45)

So he's he you know, he was old then he had a red assigned copy of it It's interesting People have longer attention spans back then. Um, he just it's so Distereal and just i'm just going to explain these things Uh, I was really taken by the degree to when you're writing these books in the 50s You did not feel the need to hold a reader's hand Okay, I've got here's my big point.

Spotlight: Author And Screenwriter Lee Bar Cardug

Lee Bar Cardug (01:11:54)

I'm going to get to this point in these three chapters. Okay park 2 is all about this No, it's like long essays and as you read it you begin to draw out of it these different ideas he has It's more Discursive and slower than more modern idea writing. Um, but it was a good book and I liked it. It was a signed copy I made me feel connected. All right final book. I read was uh Lee bar goes This is his whole name. I feel like I have that wrong ninth house Can you look that up Jesse the book ninth house? I'm sure i'm saying her name, right? This was a novel so I started reading this up at dark myth because this is about Yale, but it's about uh, what if the secret societies at Yale Actually had new how to do magic And it was like dark kind of bad magic and so all these societies were hiding all this magic and there's like a murder mystery And the main character is part of this house. It's supposed to just supervise the other houses And it's like it's a it turns out this is genre called dark university. I like this is cool. We're up at dark myth Dartmouth has a secret societies. We were showing the boys the tombs Which is a secret society? There's a concrete Egyptian Tomb And it's unclear how you even get in it. It's like one of the secret societies at Dartmouth You get tapped to be in the tombs and then you go do secret things in this building and you know, um, oh, uh Bardugo I said that wrong Lee Bardugo.

September 2021 Book Recommendations

September 2021 Reads (01:13:20)

Sorry about that All right, so that would be cool like a thriller said naively school and has magic I want to get ready for halloween, you know, and so it was cool. It's here's the thing I don't know these genres very well. It is very dark So the main character of this book a young woman who can see ghost Gets beat the hell. I mean all throughout this book I guess that's just part of the genre, but just it's sometimes it's ghost doing it. Sometimes it's people doing it I mean she's always getting slammed in the things and beta. It's it's a weird. I guess that's just part of the genre. It's like they they um materialize Trauma into like big obvious physical trauma as a way of I don't know But I like the the magic systems in the plot and it was it was kind of cool It took Yale and made it into this really dark thing It gave me an idea for a similar book for Dartmouth So I want to plant this mind if there's any dark university novelist who went to Dartmouth I think it would be you could you could definitely have a book that went back and forth Between the founding of Dartmouth. So this is in the the 1760s when leas or we lock Was they were there. This was just dark woods by the caneticate There was like a road that went through here in one tavern and they were here trying to Cut down these trees and build the the log cabin the stark Dartmouth in the middle of the new Hampshire New Hampshire woods middle of nowhere. Can't you imagine a book where You're telling that story and something dark happens, you know, like they come across some sort of like dark evil And then the other part of it is modern day and someone's like uncovering on the Dartmouth campus a modern student the Clues that have been left behind by elia's or we lock and you know like the old buildings and inside Bartlett tower And you go back and forth and there's some sort of like dark magic that's released. There we go So someone should write that book. So lee uh bardugo who wrote ninth house and she went to Yale So she's sort of like really drawing for her experience there So there you go. That's what I read in august. All right, that's a lot of books By my count we've talked about and i'm looking at my number here all the books I think that's the right summary of how many books we talked about today. So I don't know go buy some books be inspired We'll be back next week with another episode maybe with a few less books to talk about or maybe even more But until then as always stay deep Hey, it's cal here If you like this discussion today about ideas for deeper living, then I think you'll also like episode 252 Where I lay out the details of my deep life stack, but I thought this would be a great time to beta test my my more complete understanding of the deep life. So we'll call today's deep question How do I rebuild my life into something deeper?

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