November ’16 – Smarter, Faster, Better (Charles Duhigg)


smarterfasterbetter_grandeWhat do an Australian pilot, a poker player and creators of ‘Frozen’ have in common? They have the answers to make you a smarter, faster and better human.

Motivation, teamwork, concentration, goal setting, decision making, management, innovation and absorption of data are the key eight points that we must work on to increase or productivity, according to author Charles Duhigg. In each chapter practical strategies are presented and developed as anecdotes to improve our performance in these eight areas, helping us become more efficient individuals.

Duhigg finds ways to support each point by captivating us with non-conventional stories about the FBI, betting and war, which are intelligently written with an air of research – a writing style which won the author a Pulitzer Prize with the New York Times. This book is unlike others in its class. It is descriptive rather than imperative; Duhigg not only tells the story, but he fractionates it, analyzes it, compares it, and transforms it into an actionable strategy.

This book is a genuine bridge between idea and action, as it provides specific tactics to be applied without any waiting around. Among the best, and different from those commonly found, I personally highlight my top three:

  • Create a mental model
  • Think probabilistically
  • Write down the why of each activity before starting it

Please do not finish reading this book without first reading the Appendix. I must say that the appendix is a fundamental part of the book, since it summarizes and presents all the fascinating stories in a much more personal way. This is where Duhigg shows his own application of the strategies that he learned through his research in the very creation of the book – and it is this closure which really boosted my motivation.

If you’re the skeptical type of person who needs a ‘why’ and a proof, this is your kind of reading. You will not only find research that shows you the science behind the phrases ‘plan your day’ and ‘write your goals down’ or the reason why one technique is better than another, but you will also feel tempted to try the strategies yourself. SMARTER, FASTER, BETTER is perfect for those who want to create a better version of themselves and at the same time are looking for more than the typical ‘do this, do that’ self-help literature.

“Productive people force themselves to make choices most other people are content to ignore.”

Check out our previous books of the month!

October 2016 – The Achievement Habit (Bernard Roth)

September 2016 – Getting There: A Book of Mentors (Gillian Zoe Segal)

Read this article in Spanish (Español)

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