Charles Duhigg is back! The author of ‘The Power of Habits’ now brings us ‘Smarter, Faster, Better’, in which he dives into the fascinating science of productivity – that was basically all we needed to know before clicking the ‘buy now’-button. Learning how to get better at what we do in only 300 pages? Yes please!
As it turns out, the big secret of productivity is not about working more or harder; it’s about making certain choices in certain ways. Charles Duhigg covers eight domains in which we can consciously choose to do things differently in order to be more successful, illustrated with narratives based on real-life crisis events (and how they were solved). Without giving everything away, here are my top three insights:
People who tell themselves stories about what they expect in certain situations are quicker to notice slight deviations from the normal pattern, thus quicker in noticing mistakes that are happening. Telling yourself the bigger picture keeps you from falling into the trap of ‘cognitive tunneling’. Which, unfortunately, still doesn’t mean talking to yourself out loud is socially acceptable.
It’s no news that setting specific goals is smarter (see what I did there?) than setting big and vague goals. Often, however, SMART goals trigger our love for crossing off things from our to-do list, which makes us feel good in the short run (it’s almost better than chocolate- I said ‘almost’), but it adds little value to the long-term ambitions.
Your to do’s are choices, not chores.
Look at your to do list with a different mindset! The only thing you are responsible for, is the end-result. You have the freedom not to do some stuff on your list, or approach them in a different manner. Look at your to do’s as choices you made, instead of chores somebody imposed on you.
If you want to know how to actually implement all these wonderful insights, be patient and read until the end: Mr. Duhigg reserves an entire chapter explaining how to put the theory into practice.
Oh, and there’s a spoiler for the plot to Disney’s ‘Frozen’ in the book; don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The only question is, dear reader: are you ready to become smarter, better and faster at what you do? And please don’t consider this a rhetorical question… it’s a challenge ;).
Until next time!
CUTE consultant & facilitator