Tim Daulby

Slow Productivity


I'm really enjoying Cal Newport's theories that he's terming "slow productivity" in his recent book. But I haven't bought the book, I've just listened to several podcasts:

As well as listening to plenty of episodes of Cal's own podcast.
Slow productivity has three key principles:

  1. Focus on fewer things
  2. Work at a natural pace
  3. Obsess over quality

A key thought it has raised is that we are more likely to produce something truly great over a period of years or months if we stop getting so worried about producing something, anything every day, every week for the sake of fending off productivity-guilt. Being "busy" is not a good indicator of being "productive" when it comes to knowledge work. Personally I'm afraid of being lazy, and I'm afraid being seen to be lazy. If I "work at a natural pace" but really deeply to produce something excellent, that might involve accomplishing nothing but, say, a long thoughtful walk on a given day. That would appear lazy but would actually be productive. If I respond to everyone's emails, tick off a dozen tasks and impress a few people that would not be lazy, but would it truly be productive? Cal's thoughts raise some great questions for me. I'll let you know if I buy the book.