Deep Questions with Cal Newport


Cal Newport is a computer science professor and the New York Times bestselling author of Digital Minimalism and Deep Work. He writes about technology and the way it can both support and impede our efforts to live more meaningful, productive lives. In this podcast, he answers questions from his readers about work, technology, and the deep life.

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Recent Reviews
  • BT254
    Great podcast
    Informative and helpful!
  • CheckpointC
    Deep Work and Learning
    Cal: Thank you for your suggestions on books to read. You are courage….at the testing point. The Woodlands is with you. Brother
  • Anuka1987
    Inspires to find your passion and love deeply!
    Always enjoyed reading and watching Cal but this Q & A style is especially helpful, configures it and controls it into digestible and edible pieces. Also love the various topics with work, technology, etc. Thanks for thinking deeply for our questions and quests to live life passionately and deeply!
  • Accounting Alex
    Improved my life in countless ways
    Cal has helped improved my life in a number of different ways. I first found out about Cal when his book Deep Work was recommended by Craig Groeschel. At the time I was a department head in a fast growing construction company with a wife and 1 year old daughter. I was working a ton of hours in one of the most hectic crazy industries there is. I was able to work less hours than all of the other department heads as well as improve my team. I also improved my home life by helping organize how I serve my wife and daughter. After reading Cal’s book So Good They Can’t Ignore You I started to try and change the hectic culture at my workplace. After two years of struggling with the hectic workflow of construction I decided to change my place after I couldn’t change the place. Taking Cal’s advice about career capital and making a life I enjoy now, I was able to land a great job in accounting. I have a degrees in both construction and finance so it made sense. I now have a job that allows me to focus, work 40 hours a week, and grow within the organization. People have already started asking me about my Deep Work Planner that Cal developed and Trello that he recommended! I did take a pay cut but my wife and myself have structured our lives so that we were already living well below our means. Within a few years of working in my new department I will be back to my old salary. I can now spend more time with my growing family (baby #2 is on the way) and have less stress. I can never thank Cal enough for wanting to help people improve their lives in countless ways. Keep up the good work and stay deep.
    Where are the women?
    I like the podcast and the mission of intentional living. However, it would be great if you could interview some women!
  • User55726
    One of best podcasts out there
    I love this podcast. Cal does an excellent job of clarifying issues and providing concrete advice on increasing productivity. Everybody should listen to this podcast. It is amazing, entertaining and very helpful!
  • Kayla Parrish
    Like College But Better
    I’m new to Cal Newport’s work. A post on Facebook ironically led me to Cal’s TED Talk, which led me to Digital Minimalism, and then I landed at the podcast hoping to learn more. I basically came here for help getting my life together through productivity and deep work, and that’s definitely in the podcast, but I’m delighted that there’s more. Cal is like the professor who mentored you, and his class was always one you looked forward to. You learn tons and enjoy thoughtful, far-ranging rants. I value his even-handed, and for lack of a better word “deep,” way of looking at things. I’ve learned more than I came here for, and I really enjoy hearing about and using Cal’s unique lens for understanding and changing yourself, and the world, for the better.
  • Beecoterie
    Cal is one of the 5 people you should spend time with...
    Current favorite podcast. And the fact that a new episode is posted every few days ensures I’ve always got something for my run. This podcast is helping me move the needle at work and be more present at home when I log off. He says he reads each review so - here’s to you Cal - Thanks! You’re a good force in this crazy world.
  • Abby the Grace
    This is my can’t-miss, daily Deep Work vitamin
    Cal Newport’s books are my favorites, and the ones I’m *constantly* recommending and gifting to others. I read Deep Work each year, but inevitably, a few weeks after reading, I find myself drifting from the daily habits I so desperately want to make part of my life. Deep Questions is the PERFECT solution- it’s become my daily vitamin for ensuring the practices Cal advocates stay top of mind, and that the impact of said practices are at the forefront of my brain as I begin each workday. As someone who works in an industry that values in-the-moment relevance, Deep Questions helps me remember that my commitment to the deep life is worth the tradeoff of eschewing the fast-changing, highly-nuanced world of social media trends.
  • SomaTekumalla
    Like the Q&A
    Great podcast. I purchased and read Deep Work a few years ago. Also watched a few of your videos on U Tube. Thank You.
  • Nick Glow
    Makes you better everyday
    Motivation, organization, and productivity are really hard to manage right now. Listening to Cal answer questions on these topics has helped me get back on track in my personal life and career. I can’t recommend this podcast enough.
  • ev4752
    Thank you
    Thank you Cal for all of your hard work and for sharing it with us. I preordered your new book. Digital Minimalism was the first book I ever I ever preordered, and I’ve never read a book so fast as I read that one. For those reviews which say the content of the podcast is repetitive, I say bring it on, I still learn something new every time, and it is advice I desperately still need to hear. The podcast probably helps me even more than the books because it’s more personal.
  • nonono113689853
    Expanding the Audience
    I love all of Cal’s books, advice, and podcasts. However, in recent weeks, we’ve started to see a flow of questions simply being repeated. The pod started out great, but I feel like I haven’t learned many new things recently. I wish he spent more time answering more specific questions that his long-time listeners put forth instead of answering repeated, but differently-worded, questions in an attempt to grow an audience instead of staying true to his loyal audience.
  • vsh83649
    Look no further!!
    I’ve spent years studying “productivity” systems and have tried so many. I’m still recovering from the app trap, thinking I needed more software features and horsepower to get things done. I’ve even tried variants of all of your suggestions; variants of time blocking, variants of habit tracking. But when I do them in the manner you suggests, from quarterly planning to contemplative walks to the precise style of time blocking, your methods work best for me. The podcast is excellent, the books are excellent, your efforts are downright Herculean!
  • Podcastfan192837
    Cal is truly insightful
    There is not an author or thinker who has changed both my big picture mindset and my daily life as significantly as Cal has. Every single episode has an insight that has changed the way I think or a habit I’ve applied to my own life.
  • teacupolove
    Love this podcast!!
    I read a recent review that said this content should not be free and I couldn’t agree more. I started from the beginning and am now on episode 6 and have found each episode to be super valuable. I now want to read some of Cal’s books (yep, he sold me). I highly recommend this podcast, especially for those seeking to get the most out of their time.
  • ADAGG199
    Advice that Actually Works if you Commit
    I first discovered Newport as a 3rd year engineering college student. I was a struggling, “passion-thinking mired,” C student, who couldn’t find a summer internship; implementing Newport’s advice managed to transform me into a straight A student for my final 3 semesters, someone who blew the curve in several classes, and ended up finding high impact work at a well-known Internet company (not Facebook - :) ). After a year in the industry, I rediscovered Newport through his Podcast this September, and once again I have been able to use his advice to transform myself, this time from a perpetually stressed out, Netflix binge watching problem maker for my company, into the goto guy for my boss, promotion-track rising employee, who actually gets things done in just 40 hrs a week and does interesting things on the side. The only annoyance may be the ads — but his advice provides so much value to me that I couldn’t really care that much.
  • faithunlimited
    Repetitive content
    I am a big fan of Cal and have consumed his work for years. The podcast started in a good footing but now it is full of ads some of which act in direct contradiction to his philosophy of deep work and avoiding distractions. I get it ads generate revenue. I also pointed out that he needs to bring more guests so as to bounce more ideas and discuss more contents. At this point cal is just sounding like a broken record and preachy ! I would guide followers to listen to his initial podcasts and body of work on his blog.
  • fati_x3
    This shouldn’t be free..
    This shouldn’t be free. I feel like I stumbled across the most content value I can get from a podcast that has to do with productivity/general career advice. Literally every episode has so much value that I have to re-listen to episodes every once in a while to really take in the information he gives for free. He is the REAL DEAL!
  • tjkmom09
    By far my favorite podcast
    Cal tackles such an array of topics with practical and intellectual expertise. I love that it all stems from listener questions with the occasional deep dive into current topics. We all strive to work more deeply and efficiently and Cal has a way of explaining things so you have immediate takeaways. Thank you so much and keep on keeping on!
  • Jordannn 1994
    Great podcast for those curious of deep work
    I’m loving this podcast. The queries that Cal receives are great and Cal does a great job deconstructing the queries in a simple matter that makes the audience understand. I took one star off due to the fact that all platforms he shares on include the advertisements. I think people would be more inclined to Cal advertising an ad-free version of his podcast (i.e. Patreon)!
  • Josh.Smith
    The best podcast about Greek myths that exists
    Deep Questions is the best podcast about Greek mythology that I've ever listened to. The Q
  • ecbpete
    Love it
    I love this podcast. It is full of practical advice, and it has really changed my approach to work and life.
  • jwyllys
    Great supplement to his books
    Cal’s podcast is great because it serves as a nice supplement to his books. He’s the kind of guy you want to just tap into his wisdom and let him talk. One of the best things about 2020 has been the start of this podcast.
  • LauraEllenAshcraft
    Unsubscribing. 😕
    I’ve read Deep Work, Digital Minimalism, and have the time-block planner. I was excited about the podcast and subscribed immediately. The deep work philosophy content is helpful but there is 2-3 hours of content each week and because it isn’t separated thematically, it’s difficult to find content that is relevant to my situation. My other issue is the ridiculous number of ad reads. I get that it’s expensive to rent an office space, etc. but the number of ads is distracting and just frustrating. Finally, at times Cal talks about things way outside of his area of expertise (e.g. critical race theory). This is (again) distracting and unhelpful. It’s clear when he speak beyond his scope of knowledge and is an unfortunate occurrence. Please stick with what you know best. For these reasons I’ve unsubscribed, I’ll stick with the blogs and other long-form content. Cal clearly is still working out some issues as he transitions to this new platform.
  • ginnyprice
    This is my favorite podcast.
    It took me 3 or 4 episodes before I became hooked.I absolutely love his outlook and perspective and find the majority of the information Ito be extremely practical and useful. Since I started listening back in August I have also read 3 of his books, so good they can’t ignore you, deep work, in digital minimalist. If I had more time I would spend more hours reading his blog posts and any other books written by him . I look at him as a trusted advisor. He is the best and I highly recommend him to anyone interested in learning about creating a more meaningful life , being more productive, and focusing on the right things.It’s also kind of refreshing that there is no political talk whatsoever on the show
  • Rebecca Ryan
    An antidote to helplessness and drift
    In a year that most of us will agree has been a dumpster fire (2020), Cal’s podcast has been a reality check. There are many things we can’t control, but we can control our intention, where we direct our energy, and how we invest our time. Deciding to live a deep life is, itself, a radical act. That concept alone is worth a weekly listen. But this podcast marries the intention of Deep Loving with do’able tools and techniques that have been researched and workshopped by a genuine method nerd, Prof. Newport. Thank you, Cal, for this labor of love. Long live the Deep Work HQ!
  • Mark87878787
    Good content; lots of runtime bloat
    Dr. Newport’s podcast is chock full of good and helpful content; however, as the episodes have progressed there’s more and more bloat: reading a review at the beginning of an episode, long ads, etc. I’ve found that many episodes start at around the 20 minute mark.
  • Daves Alaska Homes
    Glad to find this
    Just started a digital declutter 11 days ago and while revisiting digital minimalism found the new podcast. Awesome stuff and looking forward to listening to past episodes as I work to combat distractions distress and depression! Loved the deep reset idea from the last episode! Focus on improving myself, encouraging family/friends and positive impact in my community. Thanks!
  • Kettlebell Dan
    Consistently engaging
    I’m so glad I found this podcast! It’s really encouraged me to stay focused during the plague and election craziness. (Side-note: Cal’s advice about radicalization in episode 24 is worth a listen.) This podcast is worth your time.
  • bdws1975
    Thoroughly enjoy!
    I became hooked on Cal when I read deep work several years ago. It revolutionized my way of working. Then I started reading his blog and learned how to use strategies like timeblocking to further improve my work and sense of well-being. This podcast is like having your own personal conversation with cal about a great many topics, all geared towards improving both the quality of your work and your life as a whole. Can’t recommend highly enough!! Thank you Cal!
  • Mcher611
    Lots of practical tips for productivity!!
    Great podcast, Cal Newport gives great tips for deep work and thoughtful responses to listeners questions. I always find something that is applicable to me!!
  • Mslorelle
    This shouldn’t be free
    I feel like I am stealing something every time I listen to Cal’s podcast. He is ridiculously smart, and these episodes are FULL of actionable suggestions to improve productivity and quality of life in general. I can’t believe I get free advice and tips from a Georgetown professor, author, MIT grad, etc etc. His math/computer nerd doesn’t show as much as you’d think... Cal seems to be a very humble down to earth guy. One of my favorite podcasts!
  • Lee Doggy
    This is the go to podcast for productivity
    Cal brings together diverse research and ideas into a practical philosophy which is also fun. It’s a unique combination. His ideas makes sense for the challenges of living in a world where media wants to drain your focus. I’m also a big fan of his books where you can go even deeper.
  • Yooper Cheesehead
    This culture needs Cal Newport!
    After buying and reading his last three books and following his blog for years, Cal Newport has come out with a podcast which has everything I wanted and more from the Deep Work guru.
  • drsanj
    Insightful, Intelligent, Approachable!
    Cal Newport has another winner with this podcast. His insights into physician work schedules and reason for burnout in a recent episode were so spot on, that I had to listen to it again and send the clip to colleagues! His suggestion not to overschedule physicians (or indeed any other knowledge worker) is particularly apt during the work from home and virtual visit era. Additionally, the time blocking approach that he suggests has worked wonders for my productivity over the last few months. As a bonus, it is an absolute delight to hear Cal’s clear voice of reason coming through my headphones as I am getting ready for work in the morning or chilling after my evening shutdown ritual. Absolutely “a must subscribe” if you value your time and get the best information to improve your habits and workflows as a knowledge worker
  • herbiemiller
    Episode notes are 👌🏼
    Cal’s content is superb, so I’ll listen to him anywhere, anytime. But I’m particularly grateful for the episode notes, so I can scan through the topics covered.
  • Prickly pear ooo
    My weekly inspiration!
    This year, I discovered Cal's books and podcast, and his advice has been game-changing for my professional life and creative life. Each new episode brings fresh insight and inspiration.
  • Limonic316
    Too long and meandering
    I don’t know why this podcast has high ratings. An episode for 1 hour 30 plus minutes is insane. The upselling of products in that duration is annoying.
  • San!63110520
    Excited that you’re doing podcasts!
    My husband and I have been fans of your blog back when we were grad students and have followed your work and drink up every book you put out. Deep work was a phenomenal and world-changing book. There are many books and content in the field of productivity, but your work stands out — because it’s not about optimization. You’re brutally honest about how good work is hard, and is always going to be hard, and there’s no shortcut or hack to putting in the hours, protecting your cognitive abilities. Your ‘optimization’ strategies are rooted in this foundation of intention. So happy that you’re branching off into other media, there aren’t enough Cal Newport books :). Would love to hear more about your learnings about how the brain works when learning.
  • Tim266
    Don’t just hack and optimize, think!
    Cal I am loving the podcast and it has become a highlight of my week. More than tips and tricks, I appreciate the way you address mindset and reason as the foundation for living a deeper life. Not new concepts, but a fresh and impactful approach.
  • EmCallisto
    From Boring to Insulting to Plagiarism...
    Cal’s advice was getting repetitive but lately he has started commenting on how there is no school of thought on managing housework. Clearly HE hasn’t, since his big insight is to hand the kids to the nanny for 30 minutes so he can call around and make dentist appointments in peace. Worst of all, his latest musings are basically stolen from the “Best Laid Plans” which is a much better podcast about the actual details of how to plan and execute a full life.
  • 麦酒おおおお
    Life Changing
    I have read all of Cal Newport’s books and his podcasts is an excellent addition to his teachings. It’s because of him I have gotten more serious in deciding what’s important for me to learn to enhance in my life, while coming to terms with which activities do not fit in my schedule if I want certain outcomes in my life. Cal, if you are reading this. Thank you. Currently spend my deep time with language learning, fitness, and IT infrastructure. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I feel I am developing the habits to get there because of your books and this podcast.
  • medstud2
    From the author of “Deep Work”, “so good they can’t ignore you” and “digital minimalism” comes another best seller - a podcast ripe with advise and actionable items to become a super star of productivity and to engage in a deep life. This podcast, along with the books, is life changing ! Thanks Cal!
  • mark80026
    Excellent podcast
    Cal’s podcast contains exceptional insights and advice for being more purposeful and achieving greater success in work and life. This podcast is a great companion to Cal’s books on living a “deep life” (e.g., So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Deep Work, and Digital Minimalism), and it really helps reinforce and provide practical examples of the insights shared in his books. I can’t recommend this podcast enough to those that are looking to take their contributions in life (particularly in the professional sphere) to a higher level!
  • natalie D 1981
    First podcast review
    Hi Cal, I’m an avid podcast listener but have never wrote a review until now. Thank you so much for your podcast - I look forward to every episode. I am a recent fan, having only discovered your book Deep Work several months ago, but am so glad I did! I have 5 kids (ages 7 months to 11) and work part time (from home) as a paralegal (my work consists of writing 3-5 page legal briefs and memos). My husband also works from home and we are fortunate to have a sitter two to three days a week- for which I am very grateful. Nonetheless, before discovering your book and podcast, I struggled to complete my work during those hours when childcare was available. applying your principals and discipline to my work (and life) has had an enormous impact in quality, time management, stress reduction, and overall happiness. Thank you!
  • b0yk3n
    Anyone can pull some good advice from Cal
    First off I’d like to state that I haven’t read your books, but my wife has read nearly everything you have written. After she read Digital Minimalism she tried to get me to read the book and just like every other book within a few sentences I was beginning to drift off towards sleep. Once your podcast came out the only way my wife could ingest your podcast was through my smartphone (since she eliminated her smartphone from her life after the 3rd read of Digital Minimalism) so I was finally required to submit myself to your advice Cal. Now why I can’t apply all of it, I do often find myself reflecting and seeing how I’m going to make myself So Good They Can’t Ignore Me at my job. Thank you for your work and grounded advice throughout a variety of mediums and as always....Stay Deep.
  • SuroPathak
    Great content, too lengthy
    Fantastic podcast, can be shorter in duration for ease of consumption.
  • Philip Moser
    The Seminal Voice on the Intersection of Work & Tech
    I am a Cal Newport disciple and hungry for all his content. This podcast did not disappoint! Also, I loved Cal’s incredible interview with Ryan Holiday! It was quite a shock to hear the first F bomb on Cal’s podcast, but I loved it because it was authentic and genuine!
  • Js841902
    Helping me win at grad school
    Best and most actionable advice on productivity — not productivity for its own sake, but for building a more impactful career and living a more enriching life. This podcast, and all of Cal’s writing, digs deep into the 20% of the 80/20 rule. I re-read Cal’s book Deep Work at the start of every semester. Having this podcast is like getting personal coaching 2x/week to keep me motivated, focused, and deliberate about the valuable work I need and want to do and how best to do it.
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