If you’ve ever used the phrase “deep work,” fetishized time-block planning, or fantasized about a workday unbesieged by pings and pongs, you may be a Cal Newport enthusiast. (In which case you’ll already have clicked the button below.) And if you haven’t, then Courtney Weaver’s enjoyable profile will explain why the unassuming Georgetown professor has become a guru of sorts for the disaffected office-jockey set.

Many digital tools introduced in recent years have made things worse. While it may take only a moment to check an incoming email or Slack message, the momentary distraction can seriously derail your mind from the task it was working on, making it harder to refocus. A senior partner at one of the big-four consultancies who identifies as a Newport fan told me that he had watched his firm succumb to “crappy meetings with no focus, too many people, and interminable poor PowerPoint” over Zoom, where many of the participants were disengaged and busy with other tasks. All of the internal meetings only hurt the firm’s ability to serve its clients. “Our work requires DEEP thought . . . It’s what our customers pay very high fees for!” he told me. “Insights only really start flowing after 45 minutes of deep absorption.”