Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive

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Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive

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Fulgham and other like-minded programmers were admirers of the Toyota Production System, and had drafted a “Manifesto for Agile Software Development.” Fulgham applied the Toyota philosophy to a skeptical FBI: distributing critical decision-making power to people on the ground. Whoever was closest to a particular challenge was empowered to take initiative, regardless of rank. Top officials were allowed to offer suggestions, but not to micromanage. Why are some people so much more productive than others? How can we increase our own productivity? A new book by New York Times reporter and bestselling author Charles Duhigg mines recent scientific findings for the answers. Productivity begins with motivation; and motivation, according to the research Duhigg cites, begins with control — or more precisely, the location of control. Psychologists have been considering the question of our “locus of control” since the 1950s. Those with an external locus of control have a sense of life happening to them; they believe their lives are primarily influenced by forces outside their control. Cognitive tunneling arises when your brain is forced to transition from an automatic state to a focused state too suddenly. People with an internal locus of control tend to earn more money, have more friends, stay married longer, and report greater professional success and satisfaction.”

A pleasure to read . . . [Charles] Duhigg’s skill as a storyteller makes his book so engaging to read.” — The New York Times Book Review Although the word “habit” doesn’t even appear in the book’s index, Duhigg’s latest work isolates a very particular set of habits: those that govern decision-making. Enhanced productivity, he argues, flows from “making certain choices in certain ways.” How we frame those choices, and the incentives and motivations and inputs we attach to them, will “separate the merely busy from the genuinely productive.”There are two types of goals that you can use to enhance your productivity: stretch goals and SMART goals.

Complete List of Investigative Reporters and Editors Winners and Finalists". Editor & Publisher. March 29, 2010 . Retrieved May 4, 2010. [ permanent dead link] Similarly, the groundbreaking musical West Side Story simply takes the familiar story of Romeo and Juliet and transplants it among New York City street gangs. It is a fresh and surprising combination of conventional elements. And the runaway hit movie Frozen was a very conscious attempt to take the standard princess fairy tale and turn it on its head. The following is excerpted from the book, Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Productivity in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. 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. Not only will Smarter Faster Better make you more efficient if you heed its tips, it will also save you the effort of reading many productivity books dedicated to the ideas inside.” — Bloomberg BusinessweekTo be a productive innovator, you need to be creative. This is a skill that in many ways can’t be taught. After all, creativity is often spontaneous. It’s hard to artificially trigger it by following a prescribed set of instructions. 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. In Smarter Faster Better, Charles Duhigg argues that becoming more productive isn’t about working longer hours or constantly pushing yourself to do more. Instead, it’s about making wise choices in certain areas of your life. There is not much to disagree with here, and that is one of the intriguing things about the genre this book belongs to. Not dozens or hundreds but thousands of titles like “Smarter Faster Better” are published every year, and they account for a disproportionate percentage of total book sales. Yet they mainly reiterate common sense.

Welch returned determined to get GE to adopt “bullet train thinking.” In a letter to shareholders, he proposed marrying SMART goals to what he called “stretch” goals. That would mean “using dreams to set business targets — with no real idea of how to get there. If you do know how to get there — it’s not a stretch target.” Welch tested the new approach with GE’s airplane engine division, which had announced it was going to try to reduce defects by 25%. Not good enough, Welch said. He told them he wanted 70%, and gave them three years to get there. The audacious goal “set off a chain reaction” in which the division completely reimagined the entire manufacturing process. By 1999, defects had dropped 75%.One of his main tactics is a kind of intentional disruption: mid-project, he will step in and shake up a team by tweaking its dynamics, even if he knows that by doing so he will generate a certain amount of tension. In the case of Frozen, he named the film’s writer, Jennifer Lee, as a second director. A writer is more a lone voice, where a director must listen to and incorporate suggestions from across the production. The new responsibility and point of view were just the jolt she needed. To [make better decisions], we must force ourselves to envision various futures—to hold contradictory scenarios in our minds simultaneously—and then expose ourselves to a wide spectrum of successes and failures to develop an intuition about which forecasts are more or less likely to come true.” 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.

De Crespigny, in other words, was prepared to pivot the mental model he was relying upon, because he knew that the models he had worked out ahead of time were insufficient to the task at hand. De Crespigny asked one of his copilots to calculate how much runway they would need. Inside his head, de Crespigny was envisioning the landing of an oversized Cessna. “Picturing it that way helped me simplify things,” he told me. “I had a picture in my head that contained the basics, and that’s all I needed to land the plane.” Mark,” he said, gesturing to a copilot, “if you see everyone looking down, I want you to look up. If we’re all looking up, you look down. We’ll all probably make at least one mistake this flight. You’re each responsible for catching them.” The reason why we need both stretch goals and SMART goals is that audaciousness, on its own, can be terrifying. It’s often not clear how to start on a stretch goal. And so, for a stretch goal to become more than just an aspiration, we need a disciplined mindset to show us how to turn a far-off objective into a series of realistic short-term aims.” At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key 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 behavioural eco nomics - as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, air plane pilots and Broadway songwriters - this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies and organizations don't merely act differently.At some point in your working life, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll need to work in a team. In this situation, maintaining your personal productivity isn’t always enough for you to meet your goals. Instead, the team as a whole must be productive. How can you ensure that this is the case? What are the secrets to building an effective team? The Hallmarks of an Effective Team When you’re learning how to remain focused, it helps to consider the factors that can prevent you from doing so. The brain’s ability to focus effectively can be hampered by two factors: 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. Type #2: SMART goals. These are smaller, more focused objectives. They are often the smaller steps you’ll need to take to fulfill your stretch goal.

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