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Practicing Slow Productivity—I didn’t launch my newsletter as planned

3 Principles of Slow Productivity, will you apply it in the last quarter of the year?

Hi Friend !

I have a confession to make.

Launching my newsletter was a goal of mine in 2023. I had planned to launch it in June after publishing the free Ultimate Guide: How To Create A Digital Writing System In Notion. But I didn’t.

Instead, during this time I’ve:

The reason I’m mentioning this is because it ties back to Cal Newport’s Slow Productivity philosophy.

Here’s a recap of Slow Productivity:

1. Do fewer things.

Many of us suffer from chronic overload in our modern day work and personal lives.

If you’re like me, your to-do list and project list feels endless. But we have limited time on this planet. This means we have to be intentional with what we choose to spend our time on.

The narrative of doing more and more in less time is everywhere (Enter toxic productivity & hustle culture).

But we need to start reconsidering the amount of work we’re able and willing to tackle at any one time. This isn’t about being lazy. But rather it’s about setting clear boundaries with ourselves (and others).

So that we can do more focused work that actually moves the needle and less busy work, while feeling mentally good about the work we’re doing and find space for passions or hobbies for the pure joy of it.

2. Do things at a natural pace.

Humans are not machines.

We can’t be always be working at high intensity for 8-10 hours a day week after week. There should be times of day and/or days of the week where it is more or less intense. We certainly can’t be doing deep and focused work all day every day.

That's exhausting.

Instead, we need to adjust the timescale for achievement so that we’re working at a more natural human pace.

We should be thinking about what we can achieve in months and years, instead of hours and days.

3. Obsess over the quality (without being paralysed by perfection)

If you follow rule #1 and #2, you should now be able to focus on producing high quality work that you’re proud of, without experiencing burnout or feeling overwhelmed.

The time, space and clarity you have given yourself allows you to hone your craft & skills further.

Making you more invaluable to your bosses, peers or customers.

This has a compounding effect that allows you to then produce even higher quality work that stands out and add more value.

How does this relate to not hitting my goal of publishing a newsletter in 2023?

That’s me practicing Slow Productivity.

Between a demanding 9 to 5 role as a healthcare manager and other general life commitments, there is limited time left in my days and weeks.

This means I have to be very intentional about how I do spend that time. Those 3 things I’ve done between releasing my Ultimate Guide and now, were done sequentially (not concurrently). As that’s all the time I’m willing to spend so that I can avoid burnout and unnecessary stress.

From my experience so far, the key to sustaining a side passion or building a part-time solobusiness is to make things enjoyable so that you look forward to working on it and want to do it for the long haul.

This means focusing on fewer things, doing it well and working on it at a natural human pace.

But you’re publishing a newsletter now?

2023 has flown by, we’re already 9 months down. But that also means there are 3 more months to go before the year is up!

That’s approximately 90 days left in the year. And it’s plenty of time to form a habit, pick up a new skill or complete a project or goal.

If you’re feeling deflated or frustrated that you haven’t achieved all the goals you set for yourself in 2023, considering scrapping the list of goals and just pick 1 goal from your list that you can laser focus on in the next 90 days.

If you practice even just one of the Slow Productivity principles, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you can accomplish by 31st December.

Many Goals vs. One Goal

For myself, the next 90 days will be focused on:

  1. Working on and launching the Writer’s Hub OS in Notion mini-course

    I’m “building this in public”, follow along on X if you’re interested to see this. I’m so appreciative of my peers and early supporters so far, they have helped make it even better than I imagined!

  2. Getting into the habit of writing this newsletter 2 to 4 times a month

    To share actionable insights on using Notion to implement Slow Productivity and a systems-based approach to pursuing your work, cultivating your passions and building a sustainable-first solobusiness.

  3. Participating in Kevon Cheung’s Build In Public Sprint in November.

    I’m currently slowly working my way through the Build In Public Mastery and am really enjoying the the “build in public” approach towards sharing, writing and adding value (More insights on this to follow in future editions).

That’s it!

Thanks for reading.

Hit reply and let me know what what your 1 goal is for the next 90 days—I’d love to hear from you!

See you next week,


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  2. Mini-Course: Writer’s Hub OS in Notion: A simple effortless Idea to Published writing system built in Notion for digital writers, solopreneurs and content creators to help you achieve long term sustainable and stress-free content creation.

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