Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg [Book Review]

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“Smarter Faster Better” by Charles Duhigg is a captivating examination of productivity science that offers helpful advice on how to be more efficient in both personal and professional contexts. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author Duhigg offers readers a framework for getting better results with less effort by fusing the experiences of people and organizations with psychological and behavioral economics insights.

There are eight chapters in the book, each of which focuses on a different productivity-related topic.

First Chapter

The first chapter examines the concept of motivation and challenges readers to reconsider what motivates them to accomplish their objectives. According to Duhigg, motivation is more complicated than just setting objectives and working hard to accomplish them. Instead, he contends that individuals are more motivated when they are able to relate their work to a greater good, comprehend the more profound motivations behind their goals, and establish a sense of autonomy and control over their job.

Second Chapter

Duhigg digs into the idea of goal-setting in the second chapter and explains why some goals are more successful than others. The most effective goals, according to him, are those that are precise, measurable, and have a precise deadline for completion. In addition, Duhigg stresses the need of breaking down larger goals into smaller, more doable activities and concentrating on “stretch” goals, which are difficult but attainable.

Third Chapter

The third chapter examines the concept of focus and makes the case that productivity is significantly influenced by one’s capacity for concentration. Duhigg discusses why distraction is a function of how our brains are wired and provides doable methods for improving focus, like designating certain times for focused work and creating a distraction-free atmosphere.

Fourth Chapter

The fourth chapter examines how decision-making affects productivity and explains how the brain generates decisions as well as how we might become better at making them. According to Duhigg, individuals who can balance analysis with intuition and are willing to act swiftly when necessary are the most effective decision-makers.

Fifth Chapter

The fifth chapter examines the idea of innovation and makes the case that these two factors are crucial for productivity. Duhigg suggests doable methods for fostering creativity, like being open to other experiences and viewpoints and adopting a growth mindset.

Sixth Chapter

The sixth chapter discusses the value of teams and explains why some teams are more successful than others as well as what characteristics successful teams have. According to Duhigg, good teams have a strong sense of psychological safety, are able to communicate clearly, and are made up of members with a variety of talents and viewpoints.

Seventh Chapter

In the seventh chapter, Duhigg delves into the idea of successful communication and explains how to speak more convincingly and clearly. He stresses the value of narrative to persuade an audience, active listening, and asking insightful questions.

Final Chapter

The concept of self-motivation is explored in the last chapter, which makes the case that those who can motivate themselves without the aid of rewards or incentives are the most productive. Duhigg gives doable methods for developing self-motivation, including having a growth mindset, being grateful, and developing a sense of ownership over one’s job.


The principles Duhigg discusses are made more approachable and understandable through the use of examples and anecdotes from real life throughout the book. He also offers a tonne of useful advice and tactics that readers can use right away to become more productive.

The capacity of Duhigg to combine studies from several disciplines, including as psychology, economics, neuroscience, and organisational behaviour, is one of the book “Smarter Faster Better”‘s strengths. Without reducing complex ideas, he delivers this study in a way that is clear and understandable.

The book’s usefulness is another strength. The reader will find it simple to understand how to apply Duhigg’s advice because it is based on research and supported by examples from real life.

One drawback of the book is that not all readers may be able to use all of the tactics and advice offered. For instance, depending on their job or personal situation, not everyone may be able to maintain a distraction-free atmosphere or work on specified activities at specific times. Additionally, some of the ideas can be difficult for some readers to apply because they call for a lot of work or resources.

The book’s potential inability to provide an all-encompassing solution to productivity issues is yet another flaw. Although Duhigg’s methods and advice are unquestionably beneficial, they might not cover all potential obstacles to readers’ productivity. To reach their productivity goals, readers may need to augment the material in the book with additional resources or tactics.

Despite these flaws, “Smarter Faster Better” is a fascinating and educational book that should interest a variety of people. There is probably something in this book that will be useful to you, whether you are a business professional, a student, or just someone who is wanting to increase your productivity in your personal life.

Overall, “Smarter Faster Better” is an excellent resource for anyone interested in productivity and how to get greater results with less effort. Anyone wishing to increase productivity and more successfully accomplish their goals should read this book because of Duhigg’s readable writing style, useful advice, and thorough synthesis of the research.

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