An Aside

I started Cal Newport’s 📚 Deep Work and it has me pondering something.

As expected (since I really enjoyed Digital Minimalism), though I have just started, I am appreciating the book. However, his early focus on productivity is concerning to me. Often, we think of productivity as the One True Measurement ™ of success, and I’m not sure that’s right.

While effectiveness (towards whatever goal(s) you set) is important, it leaves out factors such as quality, value, repeatability, learning, etc. You could argue that we should build those into the measurements of productivity, but I’d argue we often don’t.

Perhaps my disagreement is due to me being philosophically less of a consequentialist and more of a deontologist or virtue ethicist. In my way of thinking, it’s better to do right with less immediate output than to crank out good output that may be short-sighted.

What about you?

edited to add: Cal addresses this a somewhat when he gets into “busyness” being a (bad) proxy for “productivity”.

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