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I first read Cal Newport’s Deep Work when I was an undergrad and exploring ways to learn better. I have since removed myself from most social media, graduated near the very top of my class with honours in both (unrelated) majors, wrote a book, obtained a master’s degree with distinction while working full-time, and started a PhD.

I have recommended this book to countless friends, including to someone last week. I then decided to re-read it again during my work-cation on the Slovenian coast, hoping to lay the foundation for a much more productive 2024. (This is the year I am scheduled to upgrade from a ‘PhD student’ to a ‘PhD candidate’.) It won’t be easy, as over the years I have successfully swapped social media for world news as a never-ending source of my dopamine hits. But this is the price I am willing to pay to try ‘producing at an elite level.’

The reasons for this post are several; the most important of which is to wish everyone a joyous new year. But also to hold myself to account, and to give everyone the opportunity to make fun of me when you’ll inevitably see me scrolling the FT for hours, or responding to your memes in near-real time.

Cheers to a happy and fulfilling 2024! 🥂

Slovenian coast