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Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity Kindle Edition
“Duhigg melds cutting-edge science, deep reporting, and wide-ranging stories to give us a fuller, more human way of thinking about how productivity actually happens.”—Susan Cain, author of Quiet
In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg explained why we do what we do. In Smarter Faster Better, he applies the same relentless curiosity and rich storytelling to how we can improve at the things we do.
At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key concepts—from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making—that explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics—as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters—this book reveals that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently. They view the world, and their choices, in profoundly different ways.
Smarter Faster Better is a story-filled exploration of the science of productivity, one that can help us learn to succeed with less stress and struggle—and become smarter, faster, and better at everything we do.
“Not only will Smarter Faster Better make you more efficient if you heed its tips, it will also save you the effort of reading many productivity books dedicated to the ideas inside.”—Bloomberg Businessweek
“Duhigg pairs relatable anecdotes with the research behind why some people and businesses are not as efficient as others. . . . He takes readers from inside the cockpit of a crashing plane to the writing room of Disney’s Frozen.”—Chicago Tribune
“The book covers a lot of ground through meticulous reporting and deft analysis, presenting a wide range of case studies . . . with insights that apply to the rest of us.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[Duhigg] looks at the numerous ways that people can become more effective, whether in improving motivation, setting goals, making decisions or thinking creatively . . . [He’s] an effective storyteller with a knack for combining social science, fastidious reporting and entertaining anecdotes.”—The Economist
“Engagingly written, solidly reported, thought-provoking and worth a read.”—Associated Press
“Charles Duhigg is the master of the life hack.”—GQ
“A gifted storyteller, Duhigg . . . combines his reporting skills with cutting-edge research in psychology and behavioural economics to explain why some companies and people get so much done, while some fail. Almost all books written in this genre are full of case studies and stories, but Duhigg’s storytelling skills make this book memorable and persuasive. Duhigg succeeds in challenging our mindsets and existing thought processes. It is not just another productivity book. It is about making sense of overwhelming data we live with.”—The Financial Express
“There are valuable lessons in Smarter, Faster, Better. . . . Duhigg is a terrific storyteller, and a master of the cliffhanger.”—Financial Times
“As he did in The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg melds cutting-edge science, deep reporting, and wide-ranging stories to give us a fuller, more human way of thinking about how productivity actually happens. He manages to reframe an entire cultural conversation: Being productive isn’t only about the day-to-day and to-do lists. It’s about seeing our lives as a series of choices, and learning that we have power over how we think about the world.”—Susan Cain, author of Quiet
“A brilliant distillation of the personal and organizational behaviors that produce extraordinary results. Duhigg uses engaging storytelling to highlight fascinating research and core principles that we can all learn and use in our daily lives. A masterful must-read for anyone who wants to get more (and more creative) stuff done.”—David Allen, author of Getting Things Done
“Charles Duhigg has a gift for asking just the right question, and then igniting the same curiosity in the rest of us. In Smarter Faster Better he finds provocative answers to a riddle of our age: how to become more productive (by two times, or even ten times) and less busy, how to be more effective in the world and more in control of our lives. Duhigg has rendered, yet again, a great service with his sharp, lucid prose.”—Jim Collins, author of Good to Great
About the Author
- ASIN : B00Z3FRYB0
- Publisher : Random House; Reprint edition (March 8, 2016)
- Publication date : March 8, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 12883 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 368 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #59,167 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The clincher for me was when I got to the end and read his appendix. This was where he was supposed to tell us how he put the lessons of the book into practice as he wrote the book. It's where he was supposed to tell us how we all can manage the load of commitments we have to be as productive as Gawande, a best-selling author, a well-known surgeon, a Harvard faculty member, an advisor to the World Health Organization...
But it never happened. Instead of finding out how Duhigg managed the responsibilities of work, family, and personal needs, we found out how he organized and managed to write the book. Nope. As far as I know, his family life fell apart and his co-workers hate him for shirking his duties.
In short, this book could have been much better in many ways. Don't waste your money or your time.
In Smarter Faster Better, Charles Duhigg sets the table: Various advances in communications and technology are supposed to make our lives easier. “Instead, they often seem to fill o0ur days with more work and stress. In part, that’s because we’ve been paying attention to the wrong innovations. We’ve been staring at the tools of productivity — the gadgets and apps and complicated filing systems for keeping track of various to-do lists — rather than the lessons those technologies are trying to teach us…This book is about how to recognize the choices that fuel true productivity…This is a book about how to become smarter, faster, and better at everything you do.”
He focuses on — and devotes a separate chapter to — “a handful of key insights” shared by hundreds of poker players, airline pilots, military generals, executives, and cognitive scientists who kept mentioning the same concepts again and again and again. In this book, he explores “the eight ideas that seem most important to expanding productivity.” Here they are, accompanied by my own annotations:
1. Motivation: Make choices that place you in control of a situation. If empowered, you will speak and act more decisively and accelerate gaining the respect and trust of others.
2. Teams: Manage the [begin italics] how [end italics], not the [begin italics] who [end italics] of teams. Send messages that empower others. Keep in mind this passage from Lao-tse’s Tao Te Ching:
"Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves."
3. Focus: Envision what will probably happen. What will happen first? Obstacles? How to avoid, pre-empt, or overcome them?
4. Goal Setting: Choose a stretch goal (a BHAG), then break that into sub-goals and develop SMART objectives.
5. Managing Others: Employees work smarter and better when they feel they have the power (see #1) to help make the right decisions about what to be done and how best to do it. They will be more motivated if convinced that others recognize and appreciated what they think, feel, and do.
6. Decision Making: Envision multiple futures as well as their potential implications and possible consequences. Obtain a variety of different (and differing) perspectives from those closest to the situation. Although this 360º process is helpful, you must be prepared to make the given decision.
7. Innovation: Combine new ideas in old ways and old ideas in new ways. Constantly challenge assumptions and premises. If they are sound, they will survive. Incremental innovation makes disruptive innovation even better.
8. Absorbing Data: When encountering new information, do something with it. Write it down. Read it aloud. Formulate Qs that it evokes. Put it to a small test. Ask others “Did you know that…?” Most new information is really unfamiliar information.
These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Duhigg’s coverage:
o Motivation (Pages 13-21 and 33-47)
o U.S. Marine Corps boot camp (22-31)
o Teamwork at Google (41-46, 50-51, and 65-68)
o Mental Models (88-93, 97-98, 101-102, and 277-279)
o Qantas Airways flight 32 and mental models (93-101 and 277-278)
o Prelude to Yom Kippur War (103-106 and 109-112)
o Stretch goals (125-128)
o Frank Janssen (134-139 and 161-165)
o Rick Madrid (139-144, 150-151, and 154-155)
o James Baron (145-150)
o Categories of culture (146-148)
o Productivity and control (153-155)
o Bayesian psychology (192-193)
o How Idea Brokers and Creative Desperation Saved Disney’s Frozen (205-215)
o West Side Story (210-212, 216-220, and 223-224)
o Information blindness (243-247)
o Debt collection (247-252)
o Stretch goals paired with SMART goals (274-279)
In addition to his lively as well as eloquent narrative, I commend Duhigg on his provision of the most informative annotated notes that I have as yet encountered. I urge everyone who reads this brief commentary to check them out (Pages 293-368). They enliven and enrich his narrative in ways and got an extent that must be experienced to be believed.
The best journalists as well as the best leaders are terrific storytellers and that is certainly true of Duhigg. He anchors his reader in hundreds of real-world situations to illustrate key points. Dozens of poker players, airline pilots, military generals, executives, and cognitive scientists that he interviewed learned valuable lessons with regard to the dos and don’ts of being productive in life and business, especially when under severe duress.
I highly recommend Smarter Faster Better as well as Charles Duhigg’s previously published book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, also published by Random House.
I'm not going to say more because I do think it's important that everyone get their hands on this book. What Duhigg has put together is another way of bettering the human race by giving us eight simple rules to squeeze the most out of our days.