Study Hacks – It’s Not Just For Students

Study Hacks, touted as “the Internet’s most popular student advice blog”, is the brain-child of Cal Newport. Newport is an MIT postdoc, and the author of the popular advice guides How to Become a Straight-A Student, and How to Win at College.


Before you’re turned off by the fact that this recommended resource is one meant to serve college students, just take a minute to look at it.

The advice and insight Newport offers crosses the student/academic environment it’s meant for and, like classic advice, works anywhere where people find it hard to focus and produce good work — which is not just the world of business or ‘grown-up’ jobs, but Life.

He gives advice on replacing busywork, which he terms pseudo-work, with actual, productive work. There’s an embarrassment of riches right there in his insightful posts. You can dive right into the one about pseudo-work right here.

His approach might not work for everybody, but that would only be if the casual reader brushes off the surface scenarios he presents, which are aimed at students, and fail to adjust the principles behind them to his own situation. For actual case studies where people put his advice into play, go here.

Newport’s goals and philosophy are simple: “to help students succeed without stress.”

His philosophy for achieving this goal are reduced to three simple rules:

  • Do fewer things.
  • Do them better.
  • Know why you’re doing them.

Now, the primary aim of this post is to tell you about an on-line resource you can use to help make your life easier.

The secondary aim is to show you an excellent example of passion meeting preparation and perseverance to produce a “rewarding and rewarded life.” So before we end this post, think about the following:

If you’re an entrepreneur and still a bit fuzzy about how to find a niche, look at this site. Don’t just look, study the whole package.

Cal Newport has written books and established a blog for his target market, using intimate, first-hand knowledge (as a post-doc he’d been studying for about 25 years) on a subject he’s passionate about, and delivers a service for an audience that is continually renewed. Can you imagine that?

  • He knows the ins-and-out of what he’s talking about.
  • He’s written advice about his subject, and got published. Twice. No mean feat, that. Plus, since he’s already written them, the books provide passive income — the gift that keeps on giving.
  • He established a consistent, respected and well-known internet presence with his blog, and is now perceived, deservedly, as an expert in his field.
  • He’s never going to run out of people who can use what he’s offering.
  • He’s living the life he planned for. How many people get to say that and mean it?


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