Smarter Faster Better! New book tells you how

This brand new book that advises on how to be more productive and less stressed is on order at the Ottawa Public Library.

Read this review from The Wall Street Journal and then get your name on the list if you want to pick it up.

Habits of Highly Productive People

The habit of talking through problems helps the ‘Frozen’ songwriters craft hits, and a teenager sort out baby-sitting duties with her father.

I was raised by a father who, whenever I complained about feeling overwhelmed by homework and commitments, offered the same piece of advice. “Plan your work,” he exhorted. “And work your plan.” As a maxim to spur productivity, those words still resonate. Charles Duhigg’s “Smarter Faster Better” helps explain why.

At a time when both individuals and companies are facing increasing and complicated demands on time, Mr. Duhigg chronicles the emergence of a “science of productivity” that tries to identify the strategies that drive the most productive people. He says that his own interest in the topic began while finishing up “The Power of Habit” (2012), an examination of brain science and its insights into habit formation.

His productivity already appears worthy of emulation. He is not only a book author but a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the New York Times and the father of two young children. And yet he confesses to productivity woes. Like many of us, Mr. Duhigg feels that his life consists of endless to-do lists and a constant stream of unanswered emails. He is convinced that there must be a better way.

The book covers a lot of ground through meticulous reporting and deft analysis, presenting a wide range of case studies. Mr. Duhigg talks to researchers who mine a data set from a recruiting firm looking for clues about the personality and work habits of exceedingly productive people. He tracks down two business-school professors who want to study the productivity of the creative process. They write an algorithm to quantify the most creative scientific papers. Mr. Duhigg tries to come away with insights that apply to the rest of us.

Photo: wsj

Smarter Faster Better

By Charles Duhigg
Random House, 380 pages, $28

The researchers studying the recruiting firm’s data set find that the most productive people know how to focus. They constantly try to develop new skills and meet other people. They throw out ideas at meetings and eagerly solicit help from colleagues. Mr. Duhigg finds that more productive thinking emerges when people tell stories about what is going on around them, whether their assignments and obligations are large or small. Constant narration helps people figure out how to focus their attention where it is needed.

Read the full review here.


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