Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better Book Review

Should you read the book of Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better? Here’s a book review to help you make a decision. Read on to learn more!

A comprehensive review of the book Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
A comprehensive review of the book Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg

Book title:

Smarter Faster Better


The Transformative Power of Real Productivity


Charles Duhigg

What the book is all about?

The book discusses the eight key productivity concepts that explain how super-productive people are able to produce so many results in their work. The book goes deep into explaining how these productive people are able to think and do things differently from the rest of us.

The book uses the latest findings in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics to explain in detail how high achievers are performing their tasks so that you can also copy them in your daily life.

The book comes with various stories and experiences of educational reformers, CEOs, four-star generals, airplane pilots, FBI agents, and songwriters. From there stories, Duhigg brings out vital principles and lessons you can then use in your personal life and career.

A quick glimpse of the book’s contents

The book’s table of contents is as follows:


  1. Motivation
  2. Teams
  3. Focus
  4. Goal Setting
  5. Managing Others
  6. Decision Making
  7. Innovation
  8. Absorbing data


Those are also the eight core concepts that Duhigg shares to his readers. In each chapter, Duhigg goes deep with each concepts using research, stories, and analysis to explain them.

Why you should read this book?

Smarter Faster Better is a great book if you want to learn:

  • How to obtain and sustain motivation
  • How to successfully lead a team
  • How to gain focus
  • How to set goals that push you to do more
  • How to manage people
  • How to make the right decisions
  • How to innovate and find new ideas
  • How to read, absorb, retain, and apply data

Personally, what I like about the book are the clinical research and stories that come with it. These things help in supporting the points of Duhigg and at the same time, explain them better.

Why you should not read this book?

While the stories and researches written in this book do help in making the point more credible, sometimes, they are also the reason each chapter is kind of beating around the bush.

If you try to read the book, it takes a few minutes before you can actually get the point of Duhigg. It takes extra effort to really know what is being said. Thus, sometimes, I find myself skimming through the page instead of reading everything.

However, once you get the idea of each chapter, you will become, as the book title says, ‘smarter, faster, and better.’ Sometimes, I feel that Duhigg can make the chapter shorter by eliminating a lot of stories that redundantly support a point.

Of course, I also see that Duhigg does this to reinforce and really cement his point for the readers.

Reviews of prominent people about the book

“Duhigg has a gift for asking just the right question and then igniting the same curiosity in the rest of us. In Smarter Faster Better he finds provocative answers to a riddle of our age: how to become more productive (by two times, or even ten times) and less busy, how to be more effective in the world and more in control of our lives. Duhigg has rendered, yet again, a great service with his sharp, lucid prose.”

–Jim Collins, #1 bestselling author of Good to Great and Built to Last

“A brilliant distillation of the personal and organizational behaviors that produce extraordinary results. Duhigg uses engaging storytelling to highlight fascinating research and core principles that we can all learn and use in our daily lives. A masterful must-read for anyone who wants to get more (and more creative) stuff done.”

–David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

“As he did in The Power of Habit, Duhigg melds cutting-edge science, deep reporting, and wide-ranging stories to give us a fuller, more human way of thinking about how productivity actually happens. He manages to reframe an entire cultural conversation: being productive isn’t only about the day-to-day and to-do lists. It’s about seeing our lives as a series of choices, and learning that we have power of how we think about the world.”

–Susan Cain, bestselling author of Quiet

Book recommendation

With all these being said, I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. It is a great read. At the end of the book, there’s a useful chapter for you to understand better how to apply the lessons you learn from each chapter. Charles shows you how he personally uses each principle and guides you on how to use them too.

What I especially like about this book is the chapter about how to be motivated, focused, and make better decisions. It’s really a helpful book that gives you fresh insights on how to become more productive and effective.

On Amazon, you will see that this book got a 4.3 out of 5 stars from more than 500 customers. On Goodreads, the book is rated with 3.92 stars.

So, do I recommend this book? Yes, I do. While the book can’t be straightforward at times in explaining each core concept, you can really distill a lot of practical lessons you can immediately practice.

P.S. Now that you read the book review, you might want to read the book summary of Smarter Faster Better here.

Ready to read this book? Check it out on Amazon now!


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