Charles Duhigg

Smarter Faster Better

The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

Smarter Faster Better Summary

15 minute read    Audio Available

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Smarter Faster Better combines personal stories and business research to show that being productive isn’t just about managing your to-do list, but about making the right choices and maintaining the right mindset.

Who is this book for?

  • Readers who are interested in persuasive and leadership oriented books.
  • People who need to use persuasion to generate sales or inspire change.
  • Anyone interested to learn how to use why to get desired results.

Meet the author

Charles Duhigg (born 1974) is a Pulitzer-prize winning American journalist and non-fiction author. He was a reporter for The New York Times and is the author of two books on habits and productivity, titled The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business and Smarter Faster Better.

Smarter Faster Better Summary

Self-motivation is the key to productivity. It is a skill that needs to be practiced and perfected.

Motivation is the state of which one has desire and energy to continuously be interested in a role or job to attain a goal. Motivation we get from either internal or external factors.

The main aim of motivation is productivity. Productivity is the process of implementing learning processes to get significant rewards with the use of the least stress and struggle without wasting efforts.

In recent years, understanding motivation has become very important. The most successful people in the recent past are people who know how to manage their time and energy.

They have understanding of setting goals and prioritizing them and making the right choices. The people who have this understanding have the abilities to motivate themselves.

People with self-motivating skills are seen to be more productive than without those. Motivation is a skill that can be learned. It can be practiced and perfected and can be very productive if applied the right way.

One this that enables us to have motivation is telling ourselves and believing that we have control over ourselves and our environments. People work harder when they feel they are in control. With a feeling of power, you will be more confident in yourself which will empower you to overcome challenges with ease.

You create and trigger motivation in yourself when you make decisions that depict you as being in control. All choices you make independently will boost the trust you have for your abilities to perform specific actions. Making decisions makes you feel powerful and free. Expose yourself to situations where you have to make decisions no matter how small.

We are more productive with regards to difficult tasks when the tasks are assigned to us as decisions rather than commands. Commands reduce the amount of motivation we have in ourselves.

Build a team where members have the freedom to speak their opinions.

A team is a group of people that come together to achieve a particular goal. Teams are found to work better when they consist of individuals that relate concerning their personalities. Different researches have different proposals regarding the qualities of a good team.

Some say that a team should have groups of people that differ in their views while others suggest that teams should consist of individuals will similarities in their interests and hobbies. Some teams comprise of friends that partake various activities together.

Others involve strangers that get to know each other as they perform their duties in the organization. Although there are varying definitions of what a group should consist of the most important things are arrangements made in the group to govern them.

When teams are formed, with time, they develop their norms and accepted behaviors. The teams have their mini-ecosystems that need governing.

Standards in a group are the unwritten rules and actions that all members exude automatically when the unit functions. In groups that have their functions lasting long periods of time, a culture makes that guides the members on how to handle their differences, their conflicts, and successes.

Groups with high effectiveness are often related to having norms. An active group can have a system where people check on each thereby supporting all members individually in the areas they may be having problems.

Groups, where all members have the freedom to state their opinions and make made contributions are seen to be more successful regardless of the similarities or differences that the members may have. A group’s productivity we evaluate by looking at the sales targets and personal feelings of each member towards the group.

Magnify your focus; Let technology take care of the rest.

Our focus in the world and in the events we take part in has fallen under the influence of the growing automation technologies in our cars, our phone systems, and computerized homes. The automation technology has replaced various functions we as humans perform such as automatically engaging brakes in cars.

We can multitask because of our cognitive automation called heuristics. This mental ability enables us to choose what to pay attention to and what to ignore. These computer automation systems have eased our work in offices, factories, our homes and in cars and other machinery. Although we are viewing these automation systems as advantageous, they have had adverse effects on us.

They have reduced our attention spans to operations. Humans are known to make errors. Computers have very high precision levels.

They have lower risks of making mistakes. A single mistake such as a delay in time by a second could be catastrophic in certain operations such as in manufacturing industries and space exploration. Your intentions in specific activities determine your concentration spans. Our brains can choose whether to keep the body alert or to keep it relaxed. Due to the increased use of computers taking charge of managing systems, were are slowing losing our focus. It engraves in our mind the idea that we can relax. With long-term use of this systems, our brains develop the behavior of conserving energy by being relaxed. Our brains are always looking for ways to disconnect and relax.

While this is disadvantageous, the use of these systems reduce our stress levels, and we can perform other actions are computers do the rest. We can manage time well. Cognitive tunneling is a mechanism that makes use focus when we have to especially when in urgent situations.

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Every choice we make in life is an experiment.” 

Charles Duhigg, Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

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