NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Power of Habit comes a fascinating book that explores the science of productivity, and why managing how you think is more important than what you think—with an appendix of real-world lessons to apply to your life.
At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key productivity 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 painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently.
They view the world, and their choices, in profoundly different ways.
A young woman drops out of a PhD program and starts playing poker. By training herself to envision contradictory futures, she learns to anticipate her opponents’ missteps—and becomes one of the most successful players in the world.
A group of data scientists at Google embark on a four-year study of how the best teams function, and find that how a group interacts is more important than who is in the group—a principle, it turns out, that also helps explain why Saturday Night Live became a hit.
A Marine Corps general, faced with low morale among recruits, reimagines boot camp—and discovers that instilling a “bias toward action” can turn even the most directionless teenagers into self-motivating achievers.
The filmmakers behind Disney’s Frozen are nearly out of time and on the brink of catastrophe—until they shake up their team in just the right way, spurring a creative breakthrough that leads to one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.
What do these people have in common?
They know that productivity relies on making certain choices. The way we frame our daily decisions; the big ambitions we embrace and the easy goals we ignore; the cultures we establish as leaders to drive innovation; the way we interact with data: These are the things that separate the merely busy from the genuinely productive.
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, deep reporting, and rich storytelling to explain how we can improve at the things we do. It’s a groundbreaking exploration of the science of productivity, one that can help anyone learn to succeed with less stress and struggle, and to get more done without sacrificing what we care about most—to become smarter, faster, and better at everything we do.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
With Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg (author of 2012’s bestseller The Power of Habit) returns to the fascinating realm of behavioral psychology. This time around, Duhigg delves deep into the science behind internal motivation and examines the power of active thinking, illustrating his thought-provoking ideas with vivid firsthand accounts from airplane cockpits, military bunkers, and corporate boardrooms. This is more than just a crazily addictive read: we finished the book with a slew of cognitive tools to elevate our work-life game.
Journalist Duhigg (The Power of Habit) shares his conversations with productive people in this manual for increasing productivity. From this fieldwork he draws eight commonalities, treated in individual chapters. He places particular emphasis on the importance of individual agency and engagement: according to him, success comes from proactive transformation, as opposed to passive acceptance. The book's major source consists of the interviewees' stories, so it makes sense that the discussion is more narrative than data-driven. Many examples are recent, relevant, and fresh such as the story of creative triumph that was the development of the hit film Frozen. The narrative can feel like one under-analyzed anecdote after another, but Duhigg's accessible prose comes across as appropriate for the subject matter, since it ensures that his points about behaving proactively can be absorbed quickly and easily.
Great book useful ideas shared about using data to your advantage, using ones own experience to influence creativity.
Smarter faster better
Outstanding analyses. Would like to have seen a concluding chapter summarizing the material into an index card of thoughts and applications for team leaders.
An Insightful view of motivation
I began reading this book searching for the obvious clues behind the title. What I got was an insightful view that motivates those who encounter with great frequency-the uphill struggles against the many who see things as they are. This book encourages understanding why so many people follow the norms of conformity and why so few are able to see beyond the norm of “falling in-line.” Excellence requires determination. Persistence pays off. A clear vision can only be obscured by discouragement. A focussed mind struggles against the norms that are easy to follow. The mind is a complicated wonder that functions on instinct, emotions, and memories built from experiences. To be great, it requires being different, thinking freely, and reaching constantly for things many won’t dare to try. Failure is only tempered but permanent if you quit.
These are not in the book but this is what inspires in the reader after you read this book.