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Smarter Faster Better Summary

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The author of New York Times best-selling book Smarter Faster Better, Charles Duhigg come up with eight concepts for focus and decision-making to explain how some companies and people got so much done.

Simple Short Summary: Smarter faster better explains why managing how you think is more important than what you think; hence some people and companies don’t just act differently instead they make choices in a different way as they know the way we frame our daily decision will define how productive we are.

Smarter Faster Better Summary

5 Min Read

In this book, you’ll learn three lessons:

Lesson: A – Recalling your end goal and making choices retain your motivation level

Lesson: B – Start with big goal and then break it down into small activities to finish each day

Lesson: C – Creating mental models will keep you align with your goal even in the stressful week

Lesson: A – Recalling your end goal and making choices retain your motivation level

We possibly have incredible plans but don’t have time to execute them. Even if we start to pursue a specific goal, we distract and derail from our path.

You may start the project with excitement but later dread to complete the project. Fortunately, there is a way that teaches you how to be in alignment with your goals.

As you remain on track, you also need to keep your spirit high. Despite this, the world throws distractions towards you.

You can keep your motivation level by making the best choices that will benefit you, your team, and your project as well.

A research team at Columbia University* discovered that when people experienced control over a situation their motivation level pumped up. Basically, people exhilarated when they received a chance to form choices.

Besides, responsibility and control also assist in restoring setbacks.

Indeed, Mauricio Delgado*, a neuropsychologist at Columbia, found out that a part of the brain that was ‘motivation center’ brightened up every time an individual has got a chance to form a choice. So, if you stuck with the activity at hand, allowed yourself to make a choice.

For example, you’ve 57 emails to view, choose any ten and check the remnant later. Recall how your decision will contribute to your projects and lofty goals because making choices aren’t enough to motivate yourself.

Another crucial component to motivate yourself is your end goal. Even if your end goal doesn’t seem rewarding, you would still feel motivated.

Especially when you come to know that the activity plays a crucial role in achieving your milestone. For instance, you decide to assemble a drone so that you order various parts online.

Now, as you read an article on how to assemble a drone, you start yawning. The article is dry that makes you hard to dive in.

So, here you need to make a choice. Will you continue to read this article or do something else? What will you do? How would you take your attention back to the article?

Instead of yawning, think about why you are reading this article.

The answer is, you want to make your own drone. Then write “Reading this article will guide me to assemble drone” on the top of the page.

By doing this, the article will no longer look tedious or dry.

Lesson: B – Start with big goal and then break it down into small activities to finish each day

Begin with lofty goals or big ambitions because research has exposed that chasing bigger objectives turns people more creative.

A study conducted in 1997 discovered that once Motorola had integrated lofty objectives* in its training program, engineers cultivated more new products in far less time than it took before. Thus, the same thinking can use while setting personal milestones.

For example, suppose an overweight person wants to lose extra pounds. So, he sets a milestone of losing 100 pounds which may sound unachievable, but making big goals can compel him to achieve some part of his lofty goal.

A lofty goal has its own trait. A universal rule of goal setting is to set objectives that are doable while a lofty goal does not fit into this context.

As it’s solely based on your will and imaginary power to finish, you may think of it as unattainable.

In this case, it’s time to exercise the SMART goal method. This method breaks down your massive goals into small manageable activities that you can accomplish each day.

The SMART goal consists of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Now suppose your lofty ambition is to lose 180 pounds in 10 months.

So, the first step is to make your goal specific. It means you must be crystal-clear of what exactly you are chasing for. If not, you’ll not be able to bring enough motivation to complete the goal.

The next step is setting measurable objectives to evaluate progress and motivate yourself. Evaluating your progress will help you to retain your focus and finish your project by the deadline.

The third step is to set a goal that stretches your competence but remains feasible to accomplish. It’ll help you to identify old resources that you may neglect before.

The fourth step is to ensure that your aim really matters to you. It means your goal must align with your other goals.

The last step is to set a deadline to finish your goal. Deadline thrusts you to complete your objective on time. Besides this, it prevents day-to-day tasks from becoming a priority over other tasks.

Lesson: C – Creating mental models will keep you align with your goal even in the stressful week

No matter how solid your plan is, but there are unpredictable events that may come up to break your flow. Then, in those times, how will you retain your focus on your goals?

The solution is to construct mental models. Mental models are like playing positive stories in your head to encourage yourself and vanish distraction.

It also helps you in preparing yourself for approaching projects. For instance, you may want to plan a project for the next week.

A project likes writing an article on the top five DSLR cameras. You can prepare yourself for this by conjuring up mental images of how you go through each day.

The first step for writing an article is to collect data so you nail down your search later. For this, you should start with making a list of the top twenty cameras.

Now, picture in your mind that you go over this list and trim down to five cameras. Once you reach to top five cameras, you can easily prepare an article on the survey of your result.

Now, as you’ve envisioned the entire process of writing an article, you can swiftly take action with less willpower and complete the article in far less time. So, laying out the weekly plan can help you to take action and work on it.

The next step? It’s time to figure out how you handle distraction. Certainly, distractions are everywhere.

Distractions may knock on your door while you are working on your project. Thus, think about all the possible distractions and prepare yourself in advance.

Distraction likes checking your emails or visiting social media platforms. Use software that blocks all the background notifications so that you can work in a distraction-free environment.

In addition, manage your workday so any possible distraction mayn’t hamper your entire day.

Smarter Faster Better Review

The book Smarter Faster Better explores eight notions to boost productivity.

It takes you to the cockpit of planes, the outbreak of Israel Yom Kippur War, and basic training of the U.S. Marine Corps to show you the importance of forming mental models. Mental models mean telling positive stories to yourself subconsciously and focusing on what matters.

It also demystifies that productivity isn’t about working harder and harder, but real productivity lies in managing thinking, identifying our goal, constructing our team, and making our decision.

Most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t just behave differently. They imagine the world and their decision in a completely different way.

Thus, the book guides you in making mental models, probabilistic thinking, and establishing psychological safety for effective team management.

What’s Next?

The Power of Habit: What’s in it for me?

  • The Role Of Habit In Daily Life
  • The Process Of Habit Formation Occurs In Three Steps
  • Pattern To Replace Old Habit With New One

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