Book Review: “Smarter, Faster, Better ” by Charles Duhigg

  • “Motivation is more like a skill, akin to reading or writing, that can be learned and honed. Scientists have found that people can get better at self-motivation if they practice the right way. The trick, researchers say, is realizing that a prerequisite to motivation is believing we have authority over our actions and surroundings. To motivate ourselves, we must feel like we are in control.” From Smarter, Faster, Better

Ok, for those in Australia, the title of Charles Duhigg’s latest book, “Smarter, Faster, Better” may remind them of the Liberal Party’s  slogan for the NBN, “Fast Affordable Sooner”, but don’t let that put you off.

Duhigg, who also wrote “The Power of Habit”, outlines several way that we can boost our productivity and one of the things I found more refreshing about the book is when he actually describes some of his own flaws and difficulties in managing his own projects, rather than presenting himself as the infallible person with “the answer”.

The book is divided into sections with such topics as Motivation, Teams, Goal Setting and Absorbing Data, with a useful appendix about putting these concepts into practice. (My kindle tried to tell me that I was finished when I reached the beginning of the Appendix and wanted me to rate the book then and there!)

While the term “boosting productivity” may make you think that it’s only relevant for the business world,  I’d recommend it to anyone, and particularly to people involved in education. It’s an interesting read and has plenty of ideas worth thinking about.


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