Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

Efficiency over Haste.

Aditya Dave
2 min readOct 30, 2020


Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash

A Military team of Navy SEALS have a line that they follow to achieve their near impossible objectives. They have to move with precision and accuracy. Any possibility of recklessness with their lives on the line, is left out. So, how do that impact us and our lives?

Our entire lives revolve around the single mantra that is;

Get the thing done as fast as possible, as much as possible.

But we forget that the work that is supposed to be done must have a certain quality, before considering it’s quantity.

This is where the statement, “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast” comes in play.

You see, the above statement isn’t a derogatory of the extremes, poking at your productivity. Instead it’s a strategy for the optimum efficiency and it can work in any part of our lives.

Slow is Smooth

The basic training of Navy SEALS and Delta Forces is to get used to the intricate movement and the basic tactical awareness.

This, in other words, is also called mastering the fundamentals.

Say you’re trying to study a tough subject (we have all been there). You really have to study it, too. But you cannot go ahead and just graze and cram through it. Even if you do, then you run the chance of burning out and quit it halfway. Or worse, go to the exam half asleep due to the mighty all-nighter.

(We have all been there as well.)

So, what do you do? You master the fundamentals. You first learn about the basic principles or concepts.

Smooth is Fast

The Navy SEALS go through rigorous process of mastering the basic tactics. They do it until it becomes muscle memory. Then they move on to more complicated simulations.

Similarly, once you have mastered the fundamentals of the subject -so much so they become second nature to you- you move on to more complex problems.

Once you do this, you can reap the benefit of the patient and precise learning that you did in the beginning. The ability to solve the problems of that subject will become second nature to you. You have unlocked the optimum efficiency in that particular subject (project).


So what to remember?

  1. Master the fundamentals. Build the base first. Then the building.
  2. Once it’s done, the overall efficiency will increase. Making you laser sharp for solving future problems.

So, target for efficiency and the quality will taken care of itself. Take care of quality and efficiency, and they will take care of your output, the holy quantity that we all seek.