book hack

A World Without Email

Cal Newport

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Digital minimalism expert Cal Newport proposes a radical shift to how work is done, encouraging employees to decrease their reliance on email and instant messaging to reclaim their time and productivity.

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A World Without Email

A World Without Email

by Cal Newport

Overview

Expanding the ideas of his influential 2016 book, Deep Work, author and professor of computer science Cal Newport explains how the invention of email led to a revolution in workplace communication with devastating results. Workers used to be able to leave their workload at the doorsteps of the office, but now urgent work-related messages follow them everywhere else.

Newport rejects the necessity of constant interruptions, which make deep thinking and single-tasking at work nearly impossible. He calls this phenomenon the 'hyperactive hive mind.' Knowing that work entailed clear-cut boundaries before the invention of the email should spark hope that improving our relationship with this technology is possible.

Optimizing their workflows and prioritizing focused work in their specialized field can help knowledge workers reach a healthier work-life balance, while promoting shifts on both a personal and systemic scale.

Favorite quote

To say we check email too often is an understatement; the reality is that we're using these tools constantly.

- Cal Newport

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