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The Anxious Developer Newsletter

Slow Productivity: The Remedy for Busyness and Burnout

Published 11 months ago • 2 min read

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do." - Steve Jobs


Hey Reader,

Today, I wanted to delve into the intriguing concept of productivity from two perspectives: slow productivity and fast productivity.

As Software Developers, finding the right balance between these two approaches can significantly impact our stress levels, well-being, and overall effectiveness in the workplace.

Fast productivity

Fast productivity is essentially the productivity we all are familiar with.

It's that video on YouTube that tells you a few tips on how to increase your productivity; It's that article that guides you on how to manage your time throughout the day so you can increase your productivity even more; etc.

This constant strive to increase our performance is also referred to as Productivity Porn.

In itself, increasing productivity is not a bad thing. But it shouldn't be something we constantly try to optimize. In the end, productivity is a tool and not a goal!

So, now that we are familiar with fast productivity, how can slow productivity come to the rescue? What does it even mean?

Slow productivity

Slow productivity is the opposite of fast productivity in the sense that the goal now shifts from trying to increase your productivity in order to achieve something super fast in the near future; to focus on long-term goals in the next months or years ahead.

That way, you build tools and the right knowledge that will help you be more mindful while working and also help you to prevent burnout in the long run.

This might sound inefficient because you might think it will take you longer to achieve the desired goal, but I believe more often than not, "sometimes being slower can be faster".

What is the use of being super productive for a week, working overtime, and burning yourself out? If it takes you twice as many weeks or even months to recover from the burnout?

Which one is the right for you?

While I believe slow productivity is a better fit for me personally and even more so when I work on some personal projects; sometimes fast productivity can be beneficial too!

Imagine you have a critical bug in your app that you need to fix because multiple customers are affected by it.

Having a few good tools that will improve your efficiency while working on a fix will be a better fit in this case than trying to apply a slow productivity approach.

The takeaway is to be mindful and figure out when to use which approach!


I hope you took something meaningful from today's issue.

I wish you a great weekend ahead; and, remember to take some time for yourself and do something you enjoy! What about going to the park for a few hours? 🤔

— Andrei

Let's connect! 💬 You can find me on Instagram and Twitter.


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The Anxious Developer Newsletter

Andrei Zgîrvaci

A weekly newsletter tailored for Software Developers seeking to reduce their stress and overcome anxiety in the workplace!

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