April 17, 2024

Some books should have been a blog post

Slow Productivity’ by Cal Newport is one of them.

I thoroughly applaud the concept – that you don’t have to kill yourself at speed to be productive, and I love the beautifully phrased, simple prescription for avoiding that:

  • Do fewer things.
  • Work at a natural pace.
  • Obsess over quality.

The problem is that by page 8, you’ve got there.

That’s value delivered really early, which is brilliant. The rest of the book is a somewhat rambling discourse on why you should do that, with some vague stories around how.

In truth, once you’ve got these three principles, you don’t need the rest of the book. You just need to write them on a piece of paper and pin it where you can see it always.

There is another even more important principle at play here though.

Right at the beginning the book stresses that you have to have some autonomy over your work in order to take advantage of these principles.

For me, that’s where the real problem lies.

So if you want your small business team to be more productive, perhaps you could start by enabling them to become more autonomous? That’s easier when you give them a framework to build on.

And if you don’t have the autonomy to apply these principles, maybe you could start looking for a new job? Where the framework already exists to support your autonomy in finding better ways to be more productive.

Discipline makes Daring possible.

Ask me how.