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

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Charles Duhigg

Narrated By: Mike Chamberlain

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: March 2016

Duration: 10 hours 19 minutes


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Power of Habit comes a fascinating book that explores the science of productivity, and why managing how you think is more important than what you think—with an appendix of real-world lessons to apply to your life.

At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key productivity concepts—from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making—that explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics—as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters—this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently.

They view the world, and their choices, in profoundly different ways.

A young woman drops out of a PhD program and starts playing poker. By training herself to envision contradictory futures, she learns to anticipate her opponents’ missteps—and becomes one of the most successful players in the world.

A group of data scientists at Google embark on a four-year study of how the best teams function, and find that how a group interacts is more important than who is in the group—a principle, it turns out, that also helps explain why Saturday Night Live became a hit.

A Marine Corps general, faced with low morale among recruits, reimagines boot camp—and discovers that instilling a “bias toward action” can turn even the most directionless teenagers into self-motivating achievers.

The filmmakers behind Disney’s Frozen are nearly out of time and on the brink of catastrophe—until they shake up their team in just the right way, spurring a creative breakthrough that leads to one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.

What do these people have in common?

They know that productivity relies on making certain choices. The way we frame our daily decisions; the big ambitions we embrace and the easy goals we ignore; the cultures we establish as leaders to drive innovation; the way we interact with data: These are the things that separate the merely busy from the genuinely productive.

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg explained why we do what we do. In Smarter Faster Better, he applies the same relentless curiosity, deep reporting, and rich storytelling to explain how we can improve at the things we do. It’s a groundbreaking exploration of the science of productivity, one that can help anyone learn to succeed with less stress and struggle, and to get more done without sacrificing what we care about most—to become smarter, faster, and better at everything we do.


  • Lewis B

    This was an interesting book that gave great examples on trying to imply the keys to being better. A few times I may have gotten lost but then then was brought back for a better understanding. I highly recommend this book.

  • Illya P

    The book could have been much shorter. The author goes into long stories to prove his point. But, the arguments are not strong enough in my opinion. Overall, it is an interesting book and worth checking out but I wish it was much shorter.

  • Justin Ashley

    This is a very good book, but be advised, it's not one that you can read "only once" and get everything out of it. After hearing the chapter on "disfluent information," maybe that is by the author's design. Maybe that is his point after all- for you to re-read the book, in an effort to absorb all of the information entirely. Regardless, the book is filled with powerful examples on how to be more productive, but it doesn't just come right out and say "DO THIS" like some other books might. You are left to reflect on the examples, and see how you can apply the same lessons to your own life. What's interesting, is that the author covers nearly all aspects of productivity. Personal productivity, group productivity, corporate productivity, productivity under extreme stress, productivity in the face of adversity, and so on... The only reason that I didnt rate this book 5 stars, is because there's no "final chapter" that ties every topic together, with a final, overarching theme summarizing the pinnacle "DO THIS" tactic... But, like I said earlier, maybe that's by design - Maybe that is the authors goal - for you to go back and read, or listen to, the book again... For the record, it is worth a 2nd read, and I plan to read (listen to) the book again just to test this idea. The stories are great, informative and entertaining, with deep, valuable lessons. I highly recommend. The narrarator is very pleasant to listen to as well, and perfectly matches the "tone" of the content and message of the book.

  • Robert Scott

    Great book which makes you think and gives you opportunity to build on each principle as you read. It has helped me reshape my thought process and look for ways to incorporate principles in my work and family life. A MUST READ!

  • Kirk Bacon

    I thought this was a great book for audiobook format. Every concept has multiple real world and interesting stories that are used to convey the concept. Having these stories kept me focused and entertained while listening without daydreaming and also helped convey the concepts in a more understandable and easier to associate with way. Definitely recommend this book!

  • Jodi-lee Thomas

    I loved this book. Great insight and reminded me that too many stretch goals can actually lead to failed morale in employees... Much more meat in this book than expected.

  • Mark Caplan

    What the hell sleuth all the depressing death related examples. Think this writer has some issues.

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

by Charles Duhigg

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