- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; F First Edition edition (January 20, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553392042
- ISBN-13: 978-0553392043
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work Hardcover – January 20, 2015
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“If you, like me, are a fan of a certain kind of self-improvement book—the kind, like The Happiness Project or 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think or Getting Things Done, that offers up strategies for making certain areas of life work better without requiring that you embrace a new belief system—then I have a new book for you . . . The Sweet Spot.”—KJ Dell’Antonia, The New York Times (Motherlode blog)
“With all the agonizing about ‘having it all,’ UC Berkeley sociologist Christine Carter, PhD, blows us a breath of fresh air with her five-step, common-sense primer The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work. Based on personal experiments with living life in what she calls the ‘pressure cooker,’ Dr. Carter offers advice in easily digestible nuggets.”—Working Mother
“Carter gives actionable ways to balance your life, your health, and your career. This book is packed with smart advice and hard-earned wisdom.”—Inc.
“Learn more about escaping the ‘busyness trap’ and uncovering a happier, less stressed you.”—Shape
“A highly readable, diligently researched advice book that offers concrete tips on how to get off the treadmill of busyness.”—Greater Good
“Carter’s transformation from overwhelmed working mom to productive and relaxed human being will inspire you. [The Sweet Spot] is chock-full of concrete tips on how to sharpen your focus, improve your efficiency, and use technology to your advantage.”—The Week
“Carter translates her knowledge of the psychology and neuroscience of happiness into practical advice for navigating the demands of modern life.”—Publishers Weekly
“Illuminates the simple and sustainable path toward a precious and happy balance.”—Deepak Chopra
“A gift, like a good friend drawing a personal road map out of the crazy busy swirl of our overloaded lives.”—Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed
“This book did something I thought was impossible: It seemed to give me more time.”—Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Way in a Wild New World
“A page-turning thriller full of proven ways to have the life you want.”—Rick Hanson, Ph.D., author of Hardwiring Happiness
“Timely, lively, and vital, The Sweet Spot is an immediately useful must-read.”—Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage
“The Sweet Spot inspired me to make immediate changes that have increased my productivity and lowered my stress.”—Dan Mulhern, president, Granholm Mulhern Associates
“Refreshing, timely, and inspiring, The Sweet Spot will help you focus on what really matters most.”—Renée Peterson Trudeau, author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal
“The Sweet Spot is worth finding, and Christine Carter teaches us how.”—Lucy Danziger, co-author of The Nine Rooms of Happiness
“A must-read for every overworked executive, overwrought parent, or overscheduled human being.”—Jennifer Granholm, governor of Michigan, 2003–11
“Compelling and practical . . . You will learn exactly how to create a much sweeter life!”—Christiane Northrup, M.D.
About the Author
Christine Carter, Ph.D., is a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, an interdisciplinary research center that “translates” the study of happiness, resilience, and emotional intelligence for the public. The author of the bestselling Raising Happiness, Dr. Carter blogs regularly for Greater Good, The Huffington Post, and Psychology Today. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Dr. Oz Show, Rachael Ray, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Today, and NPR, and has helped thousands of people lead happier and more productive lives through her lectures and online classes. Her e-newsletters have more than fifty thousand subscribers. She lives with her husband, children, and stepchildren in Berkeley, California.
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Top Customer Reviews
Full Disclosure: I recently interviewed Dr. Carter for our Inspire Nation Show!
I love this book. Why? Because she helps you make life easier at the same time you're getting more done. Yes you can do more, but with less effort. That's why she calls it the sweet spot. Whether you're a hyper-achiever, a business starter, or want to spend more time with the family, the tools she gives you in this book will help you literally transform your life.
I read a book a day, over 225 for our show so far, and I've never found so many tips per page or chapter. Even if you add just a tip a day or a week, you'll be making life easier, happier, and more positive in ways you could only imagine. Even with our show and all the books we've read and guests we've interviewed she has some of the most innovative, and easy-to-install (so-to-speak) ideas for hacking your life.
I can't recommend the book enough, and I am so glad I read it. I just made a HUGE change in my weekly work schedule because of this book, and I'm immediately seeing rewards; as is my wife, who's now seeing me more, and with less stress thanks to Dr. Carter's advice. If you want less stress, and more time to do the things you love to do, or to do them better, then I can't recommend this book enough!
Sweet Spot is broken down into five sections. I have many favorite tid-bits from each part, but, for the sake of brevity, I'll just hit the highlights. Part One emphasizes the importance of focused work and rest times--specifically how important it is to experience good, quality chunks of both--and then goes on to offer very practical advice on how to increase the number and intensity of positive emotions you feel in your life. (On a side note, I was really skeptical that striking a pose like Wonder Woman for two minutes would actually make me feel more confident, but it did!)
Parts Two and Three were by far my favorites. Part Two discusses the importance of transforming as many recurring actions, tasks, chores, etc., into automatic habits. I learned what a workhorse my subconscious is, how surprisingly capable it is of pulling much more weight if I just take 30 seconds to create a new habit that it can then just roll with. (I found the "formula" of "After I do THIS, then I will do THAT" to be a very effective and simple way of creating a habit. So, for example, "After I put the baby down for his nap in the afternoon, I will write for two hours" was all it took. It's simple--and maybe embarrassingly obvious--but it worked for me.)
I also put Carter's advice on reaching goals into action almost immediately and planned out a better morning routine for myself and my kids. And thanks in part to Part Three, which talks about knowing your top five priorities and then spending 95% of your time on ONLY those things, I have been able to create a daily routine that feels meaningful and realistic--and, therefore, actually doable--to me.
Part Four discusses the importance of cultivating relationships, how good relationships--whether with lifelong friends or barely-met acquaintances--have the power to make us feel content, safe, comforted, and connected.
Part Five is all about how to deal with uncomfortable feelings, such as when we feel discouraged, afraid, overwhelmed, or lost.
At the end of each chapter is a short section called "The Easiest Thing," where Carter suggests one incredibly simple way to translate her ideas into action. She dumbs it way down so even a child could perform these tasks, but, somehow, I never felt condescended to; I actually felt proud of myself for accomplishing something.
Ultimately, I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. It was so relevant to my life, so practical and genuinely helpful. And because Carter references an impressive selection of books in Sweet Spot (including some of my recent favorites like:
(*) Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself,
(*) Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time,
(*) A journal publication by John Gottman [but I like The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert],
(*) Outliers: The Story of Success,
(*) Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, and
(*) Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study),
I now have a few more happiness- and wellness-related books lined up in my to-be-read queue, including:
(*) The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.,
(*) Stumbling on Happiness, and
(*) The Martha Beck Collection: Essays for Creating Your Right Life, Volume One (Volume 1).
I am excited to keep reading!
I thought this was just one of those self-help books, but it is extremely well researched and I enjoyed reading it. It has made a difference to me in that it supported my daily writing (my book is about 250 pages by now). I like the compassionate approach and how to fit things into a busy life.
This book definitely is a more valuable read than browsing the many self-help posts and articles on-line. When I showed it to a friend, she bought it immediately and is using it in her counseling practice.
Christine has really figured out how to use recent research and apply it to make a difference in a busy life with two teen-agers, a job and writing books.
Thank you for researching and putting together this book! It has truly been life altering for me :)