I read Smarter Faster Better as part of a personal development book club discussion at Automattic. I had previously read Duhigg’s other book (The Power of Habit). This book was equally entertaining to me weaving stories and science to illustrate concepts that will help level up your work whether that’s leading a team or just working more productively by yourself.
Habits dominate many (all?) of our actions. For example, I drink coffee every morning. Sure, I think I need it for the energy, and some days I do. But, more so, I drink it because I’ve developed the habit. I wake up in the morning, feed the animals, and then grab a cup of coffee before going for a walk; it’s just what I do.
In Power of Habit, Duhigg breaks down why habits form (they need a cue and a reward) as well as some fascinating stories illustrating successful habit change. In one example, Duhigg broke down the success of football coach Tony Dungy and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Football is an incredibly fast sport, and players are often reacting without time to think. Duhigg illustrates how Dungy removed the thinking aspect and instead turned their reactions into habit, eventually winning a Super Bowl with the Colts as a result.
If you’re interested in understanding human action, I would highly recommend The Power of Habit. I thought it was an excellent read!