How Today’s Efficiency Tools Break Our Productivity

Just because you are exhausted does not mean that you have been productive

Arnold Abraham
Agile Insider
Published in
6 min readJun 27, 2021


Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash

Is a faster compiler, background compilation, or IntelliSense good?

Can a better debugging tool be an advantage?

Is an increase in efficiency always a good thing?

So far, I have believed also. Striving for faster, better, higher does not always bring the desired effect.

The Bottleneck of Efficiency

Photo from MakeBetterMemes

Efficiency should always be weighed against effectiveness. But as long as effectiveness does not suffer, an increase in efficiency is desirable.

After all, it increases productivity. What could not be desirable about that?

As developers, we live in much better times than before. Computers, tools, and frameworks are so much faster and more convenient. Our productivity has increased by orders of magnitude.

And then there’s agile! Cross-functional teams of full-stack developers fire out releases that it’s just such a joy.

It’s a way to “drive by sight” instead of despairing of a master plan.

At least it feels like software development is much more productive today.

Or does it? Reflexively, I would agree. I wouldn’t want to give up any of these accomplishments, just as I wouldn’t want to do without email or Slack and other tools or media.

Sometimes I curse them.

They don’t always support me but also rob me of time.

To be more precise: they rob me of focus.

I’m busy communicating, but I don’t manage to do what I actually wanted or should.

This phenomenon is not even particularly pronounced in my case. I saw it much more clearly across teams.

Declining productivity due to micro chatting



Arnold Abraham
Agile Insider

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