What is Study Hacks?
Study Hacks was launched in the summer 2007 by me (aka., Cal Newport). At the time I was a computer science PhD candidate at MIT. Now I’m an assistant professor at Georgetown University.
I’m interested in why some people end up leading successful, enjoyable, meaningful lives, while so many others do not. Being a geek, I’m not satisfied with simplistic slogans (e.g., “follow your passion!”) or conventional wisdom (e.g., student success requires stress). Instead, I dive deeper, looking to decode underlying patterns of success.
When I started this project, I was a student. Therefore, much of my early writing concerns the patterns of success followed by remarkable students. I reject the idea that doing well in school requires stressful overwork, and instead promote a philosophy of simplicity: do less, but do what you do much better.
During this period I also wrote three books on my student philosophy: How to Be a High School Superstar (Random House, 2010), How to Become a Straight-A Student (Random House, 2006) and How to Win at College (Random House, 2005).
Over 125,000 copies of these books are currently in print, so people must be finding them useful.
Recently, as I’ve moved beyond my student years, I’ve turned more of my attention toward decoding patterns of success in the working world. In September 2012, my new book on this topic, So Good They Can’t Ignore You (Hachette/Grand Central), was published. It lays out my case for why “follow your passion” is a dangerous suggestion and then chronicles my quest to figure out what works instead.
If You’re New to Study Hacks, Start Here
Patterns of Success for Students…
- The Study Hacks Philosophy on College
- How to Become a Zen Valedictorian: Decreasing Your Stress Without Decreasing Your Ambition
- The Straight-A Method: How to Ace College Courses
- How Double Majors Can Ruin Your Life: Two Arguments for Doing Less
- The Danger of Deep Procrastination and How to Cure Deep Procrastination
- Want to Get Into Harvard? Spend More Time Staring at the Clouds
- How to Get into Stanford with B’s on Your Transcript
- Some Thoughts on Grad School
Patterns of Success for the Working World…
- Beyond Passion: The Science of Loving What You Do (For more on this topic, see the Rethinking Passion Archive.)
- Does Living a Remarkable Life Require Courage or Effort?
- The Pre-Med and Ira Glass: Complicated Career Advice from Compelling People
- The Danger of the Dream Job Delusion
- The Passion Trap: How the Search for Your Life’s Work is Making Your Working Life Miserable
- On the Value of Hard Focus
- Zen and the Art of Investment Banking: When Working Right is More Important Than Finding the Right Work
- Lab Notes: I Spent 42 Hour Last Month on the Activity Most Critical to My Success
- Plan.txt: The Most Successful Productivity Tool That You’ve Never Heard Of
- How the World’s Most Famous Computer Scientist Only Checks E-mail Once Every Three Months
I used to maintain an address exclusively for answering reader questions. This address is temporarily closed (as of September 2012) so that I can turn my attention to the two big events happening this season: my book launch in September followed by the birth of my first child in November. I plan in early 2013 to launch a new contact system that will make it easy for you to once again ask questions and for me to answer.
One of the advantages of running a blog is that it exposes you to interesting people and opportunities. With this in mind, if you have an offer, opportunity, or introduction that might make my life more interesting, e-mail me at interesting [at] calnewport.com. I read every e-mail, but only respond to those that I’m interested in pursuing.
For media requests regarding So Good They Can’t Ignore You, or speaking inquiries, use the information here.
Study Hacks carries limited advertising handled by a dedicated media firm. If you’re interested in reaching my highly-educated, young, tech-savvy audience, you can contact me at interesting [at] calnewport.com and I’ll put you in touch with the right people.