Brain Food

August 30, 2017

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




Whenever you start a new project – be it developing a new product at work or constructing a gazebo in your backyard – you’re usually most excited about it when you’re just getting started. Unfortunately, this initial enthusiasm typically fades over time.

So how can you stay motivated about your undertaking in the long run?

Make choices and remember your big hairy audacious goal

One simple tip for staying driven is to make more conscious choices every day. Researchers at Columbia University found that one of the brain’s “motivation centers” lights up when you can make choices – even mundane ones.

So try to make more decisions in your projects. For example, if you’re looking at eight hours of painting your gazebo, you could make a conscious choice to fully finish the outside first, before even starting on the inside. Trivial as they may seem, such choices help.

Another way to keep spirits high when faced with boring tasks that are not rewarding in themselves is thinking about your end goal.

Say you’re writing a book and need to read a dull report as background research. Jot down on the cover of the report “Reading this will help me write a better book” to help keep your bigger goal in mind.

Stick to your goals and become a more productive person.

We all know people who stick to a schedule, no matter what. Despite illness or injury, they make sure to meet their goals or deadlines.

Sure, most of us aren’t like this. We may have wonderful ideas but never find the time to realise them. Or if we do pursue a particular goal, we easily get sidetracked, time and again.

The good news is that you can learn how to stick with a plan, even if the world keeps throwing distractions your way. In his book , Charles Duhigg will give you helpful and easy methods to stay on track and realise your most lofty goals – smarter, faster and better.

You’ll find out

  • how to become a marathon runner even if you’ve never run a mile;
  • why two researchers read 17.9 million papers in a quest to understand creativity; and
  • why storytelling can help you reach your goals.

For more tips on how to maximize both your motivation and productivity, including how stretch goals can help you run a marathon, read more from Smarter Faster Better, by Charles Duhigg on Blinkist