Permission to Slow Down

Jesse J. Anderson

— 1 min read

Permission to Slow Down

Hey friend,

Last week, I shared that I'm reading Cal Newport's new book Slow Productivity and it really seemed to resonate—I got some great feedback I wanted to share.

Cameron writes:

I think you captured my feelings on this well. I also understand the paradox that is "I'm at my prime when things to do are plentiful and times are hectic but also do my best quality work when I can obsess on only one thing, neglecting the rest."

​When I was still employed, I had a graphic on my whiteboard that said, "Do less. Do more." . . . I adopted that work philosophy in an effort to simply make sure I was dedicating individual blocks of time to one specific task at a time.

KC shared this:

Cal was on a podcast with Ezra Klein in 2021 where they discussed Cal's insights into how our brains and thought-flows are interrupted by the pace of work. It was paradigm-shifting for me (the very simple notion of we NEED Deep Work to make breakthroughs, solve complex problems, and thrive in our intellectual lives).

Here's a link to the podcast KC refers to, as well as the transcript:

I also love this from Rivka:

I take "do fewer things" as permission to drop some of my chainsaws as needed, without apologies. I do love my abundance of chainsaws.

Permission to drop some chainsaws (aka all the crazy things you're trying to juggle at once) does sound pretty great.

Take a few moments right now to think about some of the chainsaws you're juggling—can you pick out one or two that you could set down, at least for a little while?

You don't have to try to solve it all, just a step in the right direction can make a world of difference. Small steps (and small wins) can add up to something great.

Stay focused,
Jesse J. Anderson