I recently came across a book while looking for some stuff about being more productive in day to day life considering I hardly get time to do anything else after completing my day at the job. I looked for some suggestions on internet and got to know about Smarter Faster Better. While the name was quite appealing and the suggestions were also thick, I decided to go for it. Now let me share what I learned from this book and if it is really worth giving your time or not.
Let’s talk about the author first, this book was penned by Charles Duhigg who is an American journalist and non fictional writer. He used to be a reporter in The New York Times. He has written 2 books so far on productivity and habits, The Power of Habit & Smarter Faster Better. He also won Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2013 for his work on articles over the business practices of Apple.
Now let me tell you briefly about this book. Smarter Faster Better is all about productivity, innovative ideas, work ethics, mental toughness and all the weapons you need in your mental arsenal to move through the day. You are going to find a lot of interesting but real life examples where people had problems related to being more productive and being smarter than the people around.
Author talks about those events in pretty deep details and gives his own observations and commentary too. Author took a most of the part of the book on talking about the examples and how these examples can be your answer to many problems. The analysis on each chapter is done keeping the understanding level of readers in mind and sketches were used to convey the message better.
The book has total 8 chapters and I would really like to share some brief details about each chapter.
- Motivation: Re-imagining Boot Camp, Nursing Home Rebellions, and the Locus of Control
- Teams: Psychological Safety at Google and Saturday Night Live
- Focus: Cognitive Tunneling, Air France Flight 447, and the Power of Mental Models
- Goal Setting: Smart Goals, Stretch Goals, and the Yom Kippur War
- Managing Others: Solving a Kidnapping with Lean and Agile Thinking and a Culture of Trust
- Decision Making: Forecasting the Future (and Winning at Poker) with Bayesian Psychology
- Innovation: How Idea Brokers and Creative Desperation Saved Disney’s Frozen
- Absorbing Data: Turning Information into Knowledge in Cincinnati’s Public Schools
Though the book presents really good ideas to be smarter, better and faster, however there are few shortcoming that could have been avoided. Initial chapters were stretched for more than enough time. Over explanation of the examples made it a slow read therefore even I could not complete this book in just few reading and had to give it a lot of time with several sittings. If the author had slashed some content from the book then it would have been better than how it is now.
I will rate this book with 4 out of 5 stars. I found the ideas and suggestions really helpful and the writing was also simple and easy to understand. If you are going through some struggle with managing time or being more productive in life then this book can be your addition to one of the solutions.
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