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Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

by Venky

The author of the bestselling “The Power of Habit”, once again returns to a dissection of his favourite sphere of professional interest. In “Smarter Faster Better….” (The Book”), Charles Duhigg attempts to analyse the inspirations, insights and intuitions under girding the essence of Productivity. In other words, Duhigg explores the myths, methods and the madness that makes some people extraordinarily productive in comparison to their peers.

Laying out a variety of illuminating and unique examples, Duhigg identifies eight specific areas that would play a vital role in enhancing the productive nature. The illustrations make for some terrific reading. The transition made by the award winning “Frozen” team at Disney from a anxiety riddled pack of creative talent who failed to make a mark with their first draft of the script to an award winning box office shattering, Oscar grabbing bunch of heroes; the instinctive brilliance displayed by the Captain of the Quantas Flight 32, Richard Champion De Crespigny in safely landing what is now universally acknowledged to be the most heavily damaged aircraft during a mid-air flight (in sharp contradiction to the unfortunate lack of perception displayed by the flying crew of the ill-fated Air France flight).

Although Duhigg does not provide a check list (as is the scornfully condescending fashion today) for the enhancement and power boosting of productivity, a combination of real life examples and the empirical analysis and scientific studies conducted into ascertaining the wisdom, intent and drives spurring such examples provide a pathway for the reader to hone her productive skills in more ways than one while being perfectly aware of such a process.

Concepts such as “mental models”, “Bayesian Thinking”, “innovation brokering”, “Intermediate disturbance”, “creating disfluency”, “SMART Goals v Stretch goals”, “Cognitive Tunneling”, “psychological safety”, although on a prima facie reading sounding like words jutting forth from an overbearing technical manual – highlighted by Duhigg will not just make one think but also deeply introspect and most importantly – deliver!

“Smarter, Faster Better” is the perfect follow up for “The Power of Habit” and as was the case with the former, there is not too much with which one can nurse any grouse!

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