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I Want to Show You Exactly How I Prioritize Deep Work in My Busy Life


A Look Inside My Systems

I’m committed to the idea that deep work is the key to a successful and meaningful professional life. Not surprisingly, I back up this commitment with a complex set of battle-tested systems that ensure I spend a non-trivial amount of time in a state of intense depth each week.

At the moment, due to these systems, I average between 15 – 20 hours of deep work per week. I manage this even though I’m professor with a full course and service load, an active blogger and writer, a father of two young boys, and someone who rarely works in the evening.

Now I want to let (some of) you inside my world and explain exactly how I make this happen…

In more detail, I’m going to host an exclusive, invite-only webinar on Sunday, January 3rd where I will walk through the details of my deep work systems and answer any and all questions on this general topic from the webinar attendees.

Newport_DeepWork_HC_webHere’s the catch: invitations to the webinar will be limited to people who pre-order my new book DEEP WORK, which will be released on January 5th.

(Note: If you’re in the UK, you should pre-order here.)

Once you’ve pre-ordered the book (of if you’ve already done so): simply click here to access an online form where you’ll be asked to enter your e-mail address and some order confirmation information.

Once we’ve confirmed all the entries, I’ll e-mail this pre-order list the information needed to access the webinar. After the webinar, I’ll also send this pre-order list a full recording of the event for those who cannot attend live.

Why am I limiting this event to people who pre-order the book?

Pre-orders carry a great weight in the modern book business. Major retailers such as Barnes & Noble, for example, now use pre-order numbers to determine how seriously to take a new release.

I’m using this event, therefore, for two reasons:

  1. To try to convince those who think they’ll buy the book anyway to consider pre-ordering it.
  2. To thank those of you who have supported my efforts over the years to spread the gospel of deep work.

This offer will only be available for the next few weeks, as we’re planning on processing all the entries before the Christmas vacation. So if you’re thinking about taking advantage of this invitation, don’t procrastinate too much.

Enough about this. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

55 thoughts on “I Want to Show You Exactly How I Prioritize Deep Work in My Busy Life”

  1. Cal – thanks. Sounds great. Separately, I’ve been curious to see how you’ll balance your decision to abstain from social media with the trade off that this will mean for marketing your new book. Others (e.g., Lewie Howes) seem to have a social media onslaught teed up to promote the release of their new book and seem to–pardon the expression–be trying to literally create something out of nothing.

    • I think social media works best in book marketing as a way for people who really like something to tell their friends about it. So from my perspective, the most effective social media marketing strategy I can pursue is to try to write something that people will really like!

  2. Cal ,
    This is good looking forward for reading it. Do you have any advice on how to switch our minds from intense work to normal ? For me i cannot come out of thinking if am deeply focussed and this could go for days until i solve a problem. Not sure how to unplug in between mentally and replug etc. Any advice ?

    • I struggle with this when I start to gain traction on a deep problem — it becomes very hard to let go. What helps me is to end the deep session with detailed notes in a trusted system. For example, when working on a math proof in the woods, I end the hike by capturing all of my thinking in my trusted grid-lined, composition notebook. I then trust I can pick up from there during the next session.

      Years ago, I used to be plagued by big picture brainstorms — exciting new projects or directions for my life — that my mind wouldn’t let go for fear of forgetting. That’s when I started the habit of carrying a moleskin with me dedicated to such Thoughts on Living.

      • Interesting to know your habit. It is mostly involuntary for me, it just happens so to be in that state of deep concentration until some how i reach the solution.

    • Hachette owns the foreign rights to the book. In markets that have purchased the rights from them, you can get a local version of the physical book and a kindle version. Unfortunately, for markets without the rights, all you can do is essentially ship the physical book from the US (which is why the shipping is so high). At least, I think that’s how it works. Foreign publishing is always a bit opaque to me…

      • It’s been on there for a couple of weeks – already got my pre-order in! Paperback though rather than hardback unfortunately, but at least the release date is the same as in the US!

  3. Hi, I am a long time fan 🙂
    I want to preorder the kindle version, but I get this message on Amazon:

    “This title is not available for you.
    Due to copyright restrictions, the Kindle title you’re trying to purchase is not available in your country: United States.
    Did you recently move to a new country?
    You can easily update your country for your Amazon account.”

    I am accessing from outside the US at the moment so that might be related to the issue. The message seems to imply you can’t buy it from the US though. Anyone else see this?

  4. Do we have to preorder on Amazon? I noticed your book is available for pre-order on google play, which I prefer. Will this work?

    • You can pre-order from anywhere you want. The reason I have amazon links here on the site is that it gives me a little bit of information about how many people clicked on them and ultimately did a pre-order.

  5. Hi Cal,
    You may already have these questions lined up for webinar, but just in case, here are some of my questions.
    1. Does/can it work for graduate students such as first year PhD students, or how would you alter it for graduate students?
    2. How long did it take to cement the habit and for others to get used to it?


  6. This is great! Really would like to see it! Unfortunately it is not possible for me to pre-order the book due to country restrictions within Amazon (problem seems to be described already above). Any idea what I can do?

  7. Looking forward to this and of course your book. I am a professor of microbiology & infectious diseases and believe strongly in your position on deep work. Best wishes!

  8. Between the expensive online class and this push for preorders, you’ve definitely stepped up the marketing lately. I respect your thoughts a lot, and I’m struggling quite a bit with these concepts of money and life and work and self-promotion in my own life. I’d love to see a post from you about these ideas. Perhaps it’s too far from what you’re focusing the blog on now, but they seem like the kind of foundational thoughts that need to be settled, to have a solid life to build good work and deep work on top of.

  9. Hi Cal,

    When does the offer close? I’m on a self-imposed “don’t buy books for a year” challenge that ends on my birthday (Dec 22nd). I’m thinking of buying your book for myself, but not until then. Will I be able to get in on the fun?

    PS – bought and loved “So Good,” so I’m looking forward to this book.

    • I’ve just preordered the book from iBookstore (my first time), and it said I’m going to be charged when it comes out. And there is nothing in my email about any of it (I assume because I wasn’t charged yet?).
      Cal, how should I proceed?

  10. Hi Cal! I want to preorder your book but I’m in portugal. How could I go about to preorder it and still be able to attend? Also is there a bundle with your books? Cause if there is I wouldn’t mind snatching them all at a discount for buying in bulk 😛 I can order from but shipping fees are probably high. But if that’s what it takes…
    Have a great one!

  11. Hi Cal,
    Big fan of your books. I pre-ordered your book on Dec. 23rd but didn’t catch the part about registering until now. I have submitted my info today, can I still be added to the private webinar list for January 3rd.

  12. I’m in ecommerce. 😉 Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s insanity, and then it’s unplug time. Your book was on my Christmas list, but I didn’t get it, so I just pre-ordered it and signed up for the webinar.

    I’d still enjoy at least getting a copy of the webinar after the fact. Congrats on your new book. I’ve enjoyed all the others and bought my kids each copies of your college books and own So Good. Which is why I don’t even need to wait for reviews to know I want the new one. Happy New Year Cal!

  13. Cal,

    I never got the invite for the webinar but would like to be able to view it later. I resubmitted the form today – if you could check my email and add me to the list of people who are notified about the recording I’d really appreciate it.

    –Sara Baker

  14. Just discovered your blog and book yesterday, searching about GTD disadvantages. Is there any way to see the log of the webinar? or at least the content of it?

  15. We are in education platform, the thought of deep work is like putting your first step towards the completion of job and success on it. Its nicely represented about the deep work .

  16. I battle with this when I begin to pick up footing on a profound issue — it turns out to be difficult to give up. What offers me some assistance with being to end the profound session with nitty gritty notes in a trusted framework. For instance, when chipping away at a math verification in the forested areas, I end the trek by catching the greater part of my reasoning in my trusted network lined, sythesis scratch pad. I then trust I can get from that point amid the following session.

    A long time back, I used to be tormented by huge picture conceptualizes — energizing new undertakings or headings for my life — that my psyche wouldn’t give up inspired by a paranoid fear of overlooking. That is the point at which I began the propensity for conveying a moleskin with me devoted to such Thoughts on Living.

  17. You can pre-request from anyplace you need. The reason I have amazon joins here on the site is that it gives me a tad bit of data about what number of individuals tapped on them and eventually did a pre-request.

  18. Hi Cal,
    Looking forward to reading your new book. Any updates as to if/when it will be published internationally (Europe/Asia)?

  19. A long time back, I used to be tormented by huge picture conceptualizes — energizing new undertakings or headings for my life — that my psyche wouldn’t give up inspired by a paranoid fear of overlooking. That is the point at which I began the propensity for conveying a moleskin with me devoted to such Thoughts on Living.

  20. I am currently reading the chapter of your book where you recommend to “Drain the Shallows”. By all definitions, having kids and nursing them is shallow work – no need to be smart or to have a college degree. This confirms my personal feelings. I mourn billions of hours lost to this mundane work. Still, that’s biologically necessary for the population to survive. I wonder if there is any other way.


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