Smarter, Faster, Better (2016), Charles Duhigg - Book Summary

Smarter, Faster, Better (2016) includes personal stories and business studies that show that productivity isn't just about mastering plans, it's about making choices. respectable. This book will give you tips to motivate, stick to work, work effectively in teams to help you achieve maximum productivity.

Who should read this book:

  • Group leaders;
  • Entrepreneurs who want to inspire employees;
  • Anyone with goals, ambitions.

Who is the author of this book?

Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist. His first book, The Power of Habit , held the Times bestseller title for 60 weeks.

What does this book have for you? Become a more productive person.

We all know people who always strive to achieve their goals no matter what problems they face. Whether it's sickness or injury, they make sure to get the job done in the best possible way.

Clearly, however, most of us don't. We can have a lot of great ideas but don't take the time to consider and consider them carefully. Or we have a goal, but always delay it, over and over again.

The good news is that you can learn to take control of your plans and intentions, even though the world is full of distractions. This book will give you useful and easy ways to stay on top of your work, making you smarter, faster, and better!

Stay motivated by letting yourself make choices and remind yourself of your long-term goals.

Have you ever felt the excitement of starting a new project, only to let it fade over time? This is a very common problem. Pay attention to a few tips to help you keep your spirits up.

You can stay motivated by making choices to please yourself, your team, or your project. Columbia University researchers have found that people feel more motivated and excited when they have more power over an issue. Basically, people feel more motivated when they are presented with a choice. A sense of power and responsibility can also help you bounce back from setbacks.

In fact, psychologist Mauricio Delgado of Columbia University has found that part of the brain's "inspiration center" is active whenever people have the power to make choices - even even choosing simple things like colors in video games.

So let this help you! If you're stuck with a task, let yourself make a decision. Even the most personal decisions can help. For example, if you have 40 emails to read, read only 4 first and leave the rest for another time.

However, being given a choice doesn't always motivate you. You need to remind yourself of how that choice contributes to your project and goals.

Remembering the big picture is another equally important factor in helping you stay motivated. Even if the work doesn't seem like a big deal, it feels good to know that it's contributing to something bigger.

Set an ambitious goal, then break it down into smaller chunks.

Start with your biggest goal, or biggest ambition. Don't be afraid, keep dreaming! Many studies have proven that people become more creative when they have higher, bigger goals.

A 1997 study revealed that after Motorola combined big goals with management training, engineers developed new products 10 times faster.

This can also be applied to personal goals, such as a person wanting to lose weight. Even if the ultimate goal of losing 100 pounds isn't feasible, setting high goals can motivate people to achieve impressive results.

Big goals are often out of reach, and sometimes we feel it's too much for us. If you feel this way, then it's time to set a SMART goal.

SMART goals are goals that are broken down from the big one. They are Very Specific, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound.

Think of it like a marathon. First, you'll break it down into small, specific steps, like "run 6 miles without rest".

Then figure out how you would do it, like running 6 laps around your local area.

Next, ask yourself if that goal is achievable. If you combine running with going to the gym twice a week, it can be done. Remember that you also need to be realistic. You need to say to yourself, “This is going to be difficult and time consuming, but I can do it!”

Finally, find the most effective ways to determine how long it will take you to accomplish that goal. You'll probably start running 2 miles in the first week and increase each mile in the following weeks.

Another great thing that SMART goals bring is feeling more motivated after each step you complete. The more you do, the more excited and excited you are to keep going!

Stay focused on your goal, ignoring all distractions.

Life is unpredictable. Even if you have a plan for yourself, unexpected events will arise and distract you from your work.

So how to stay focused? A good way is to create a mental model: positive stories that keep you focused and positive towards the future.

Mental modeling helps you prepare for upcoming projects or conversations. Imagine that you have a stressful week ahead of you. Get over them by imagining how you'll get through them, one step at a time.

Imagine that you are a journalist and have to write an article for a travel magazine about the top 3 SLR cameras (single lens reflex cameras). To start, you should make a list of 10 cameras, and then gradually narrow that list down.

Be sure to consider factors that might distract you, like an email box full of incoming messages. Perhaps you would turn on incoming text blocking before lunch, so you have more time to think.

Once you've selected the top 5 best, try to picture yourself experiencing them. Then continue to imagine yourself picking the best 3, and then record your final results.

You now have a head-to-head outline of what you're going to write, so you can get it done quickly. In short, once you've figured out how you're going to start the week, you'll start it off with a more relaxed mind.

We must admit that even the best plans will encounter unforeseen obstacles. Visualize those obstacles and how you will deal with them.

Enhance teamwork by ensuring that each person on the team feels safe and valued.

What is the formula for a successful team? A group of brilliant people? Not really.

Google's Project Aristotle spent two years studying what makes a team successful. They have found that even a group of people of average ability can achieve extraordinary things if they have the right motivation.

But what is the “right” motivation? The most important factor is that each team member feels psychologically safe. Team members will feel safe when they are not ridiculed for their mistakes. Project Aristotle has found that safety teams are more likely to work, produce better products, and achieve their sales goals.

Psychological safety can enhance teamwork by allowing team members to admit defeat. Team members are also more willing to share different ideas with each other, which helps increase creativity for the group.

“Safe” teams succeed in an environment where people care and respect each other. Project Aristotle found that the safest groups are made up of compassionate individuals. People will trust you more easily when you genuinely care about them.

Team members also feel safe when they are motivated to contribute to the overall success of the group. Those words of encouragement will help team members feel more confident and show them that they are an important part of the team, whose value is undeniable.

Of course, the team leader is the one who bears the responsibility of helping the team members feel safe. So if you're a team leader, make sure each person on the team has a say at least once in every group meeting.

If you notice a team member is upset, encourage them to share as well as encourage others to care more about that member. Resolve conflicts openly and never interrupt when a member is speaking. Make sure they are all respected and cared for!

Building a culture of commitment creates success.

During the Silicon Valley boom of the 1990s, many CEOs thought the HR department and other "corporate culture" ideas were irrelevant to startups. Coming up with new breakthrough ideas and products is key.

Is that correct? Absolutely not. An exhaustive study has proven that corporate culture is the most important factor in the success of any business. A “culture of commitment” is one of the most successful you can build in your company.

In a commitment culture, management focuses on building trust and alignment between people. The company's culture of commitment is based on trust, care, and an emotional connection between the company and its members. It is not necessary to hire the smartest or the best. Instead, the company needs people who can fit in with the rest.

In 1994, Stanford Business School professors James Baron and Michael Hannan began studying 200 Silicon Valley tech startups, with the goal of better understanding the relationship between company culture and profit.

Of the five corporate cultures they defined, companies with a culture of commitment were consistently the most successful. Not a single company went bankrupt, they quickly went public and maintained high profit margins.

Another benefit of a commitment culture is that it reduces the number of middle managers. Companies with a commitment culture hire high-level professionals who are good at managing themselves.

Your company will be more effective when experts can see problems quickly. A mid-level manager may not know which server to choose, but an IT professional can make the right choice in no time.

Apply new applications to old ideas, letting emotions guide creativity.

Innovation doesn't always start from scratch. After all, you don't have to re-engineer a wheel to develop a new one!

So instead of creating something completely new, try using old ideas in new ways.

Commercial behavior is a good example. The pioneers of commercial behavior include psychologists and economists with the goal of understanding why people make decisions that are contrary to their preferences. For example, people will reject an offer if they feel it's unfair. This goes against the ideas of rational behavior made by classical economists, who say that people simply make decisions solely for profit.

Behavioral economists have thus succeeded in gaining insights by finding new applications on old ways of thinking.

Brian Uzzi and Ben Jones, two business professors at Northwestern University, in 2011 analyzed a wide range of academic creative texts. Using an algorithm, Uzzi and Jones 17.9 million documents and found that of the most creative, 90% of them were published somewhere.

These texts are considered innovative because they see old things in a new light, not because they develop something entirely new.

There's another way to boost creativity: your emotions. Let it guide you. How you feel about a case or idea will tell you whether you're about to create something great or just a fleeting one.

Disney animation director Edwin Catmull uses this approach with his screenwriters. When his team was working on the Frozen project, he let the members discover true feelings with their siblings. Doing so has helped the screenwriters portray the relationship between the two characters Anna and Elsa in the most realistic and emotional way. That is also the reason why the film achieved such great success.


The main theme of the book is: Staying productive and motivated is possible by making choices, whether in everyday life or the most ambitious goals. Set big goals and break them down. Overcome distractions by being well prepared. Making the right choice not only benefits you personally, but also the whole team.