Smarter Faster Better

Smarter Faster Better

Smarter, Faster, Better is written by Charles Duhigg, the author of the bestseller, The Power of Habit.

It is about reshaping our daily goals and methods of working on getting more 'productive' rather than being busy.

Duhigg delves deep into the research behind his ideas to prove his arguments of how we can get things done in a better way.

The central idea of "Smarter Faster Better"

Motivation, like a skill, can be honed. Making ambitious long-term goals is easy, but following them with short steps every day is not.

Hence, it would help if you make SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Anticipation is the enemy of distraction, and when you plan for handling a distraction that you know is coming, it's much easier to make time for the task you'd otherwise have been unable to complete.

Key ideas and tips from "Smarter Faster Better"

Here are some key learnings from the book that, when implemented, can do wonders for your productivity.

  1. Productivity is to figure out the best possible use of our energy, intellect, and time. It is to seize the most meaningful rewards with the least wasted efforts.
  2. Use small reminders to stay motivated. It is effortless and exciting to commit to big goals but challenging to follow up with the everyday toil of working towards them.
  3. Set SMART goals that are realistic and simple.
  4. Aim at ambitious goals that you can't honestly expect to achieve. However, they are essential because they allow you to foster innovation and stretch your limits.
  5. Make a plan to handle distractions before they happen.
  6. Five essential norms that make teams great:
    1. They believe their work matters.
    2. They find the work personally meaningful.
    3. Clear goals and defined roles.
    4. They need to know they can depend on each other.
    5. They need psychological safety.
  7. When the brain transitions abruptly from a state of relaxed automation to panic, it can lead to bad decisions as you are distracted by your immediate tasks. This is called cognitive tunneling.
  8. Making good decisions is to be able to forecast your future accurately. You also have to be comfortable knowing there's stuff you don't know and can't figure out.
  9. To be more innovative, observe your reactions to experiences in your life. You must accept that feeling panic while doing something new isn't always a sign of things not working out but rather an indicator of becoming more flexible and adapting to uncertainty.
  10. You absorb data and use it to hypothesize, as long as it is given in small, comprehensive bits. Too much data can lead to overload and can cause informational blindness.

Final thoughts on "Smarter Faster Better"

The book focuses on how can each of us achieve more? And the author draws on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics, as he demonstrates the eight simple principles that govern productivity.

Like his previous book, "The Power of Habit," there are valuable lessons in Smarter Faster Better, making it a worthy read.

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