Marcel's avatar in comic style

It's not hyperbole to say that Cal Newport's books changed my life. So Good They Can't Ignore You, Deep Work, and Digital Minimalism provided me with perfectly crafted arguments that altered how I think about very fundamental aspects of my day-to-day life.

However, Slow Productivity doesn't have the same impact. It indulges in self-referential navel-gazing that would only be worth reading if his other books didn't exist.

Newport frequently quotes himself, his blog, his books, and his podcast. When he doesn't, he tells lengthy stories about someone who succeeded by adopting one of the three rather simplistic ideas he promotes:

  • Do Fewer Things.
  • Work at a Natural Pace.
  • Obsess over Quality.

Unfortunately, there's just not enough substance here to fill the modest 210 pages of the book. Normally, I'm not against using stories to illustrate a point, but in this case, they just didn't resonate. They're too long, overly detailed, and, frankly, too boring. I found myself skipping large portions of them.

Sorry, Cal, but this one makes me think twice before buying your next book.