The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less

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Learn how to achieve more by doing less! Live in that zone you’ve glimpsed but can’t seem to hold on to—the sweet spot where you have the greatest strength, but also the greatest ease.

Not long ago, Christine Carter, a happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and a speaker, writer, and mother, found herself exasperated by the busyness of modern life: too many conflicting obligations and not enough time, energy, or patience to get everything done. She tried all the standard techniques—prioritizing, multitasking, delegating, even napping—but none really worked. Determined to create a less stressful life for herself—without giving up her hard-won career success or happiness at home—she road-tested every research-based tactic that promised to bring more ease into her life. Drawing on her vast knowledge of the latest research related to happiness, productivity, and elite performance, she followed every strategy that promised to give her more energy—or that could make her more efficient, creative, or intelligent.

Her trials and errors are our reward. In The Sweet Spot, Carter shares the combination of practices that transformed her life from overwhelmed and exhausting to joyful, relaxed, and productive. From instituting daily micro-habits that save time to bigger picture shifts that convert stress into productive and creative energy, The Sweet Spot shows us how to

• say “no” strategically and when to say “yes” with abandon
• make decisions about routine things once to free our minds to focus on higher priorities
• stop multitasking and gain efficiency
• “take recess” in sync with the brain’s need for rest
• use technology in ways that bolster, instead of sap, energy
• increase your ratio of positive to negative emotions

Complete with practical “easiest thing” tips for instant relief as well as stories from Carter’s own experience of putting The Sweet Spot into action, this timely and inspiring book will inoculate you against “The Overwhelm,” letting you in on the possibilities for joy and freedom that come when you stop trying to do everything right—and start doing the right things.

ONE OF GREATER GOOD’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

“[For fans] of a certain kind of self-improvement book—the kind, like The Happiness Project or 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think or Getting Things Done, that offers up strategies for making certain areas of life work better without requiring that you embrace a new belief system.”—KJ Dell’Antonia, The New York Times (Motherlode blog)

“A breath of fresh air . . . Based on personal experiments with living life in what she calls the ‘pressure cooker,’ Dr. Carter offers advice in easily digestible nuggets.”Working Mother

“Carter gives actionable ways to balance your life, your health, and your career. This book is packed with smart advice and hard-earned wisdom.”Inc.

“Learn more about escaping the ‘busyness trap’ and uncovering a happier, less stressed you.”Shape

“A highly readable, diligently researched advice book that offers concrete tips on how to get off the treadmill of busyness.”Greater Good

“Chock-full of concrete tips on how to sharpen your focus, improve your efficiency, and use technology to your advantage.”The Week

“Illuminates the simple and sustainable path toward a precious and happy balance.”—Deepak Chopra


From the Hardcover edition.
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About the author

Christine Carter, Ph.D., is a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, an interdisciplinary research center that “translates” the study of happiness, resilience, and emotional intelligence for the public. The author of the bestselling Raising Happiness, Dr. Carter blogs regularly for Greater Good, The Huffington Post, and Psychology Today. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Dr. Oz Show, Rachael Ray, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Today, and NPR, and has helped thousands of people lead happier and more productive lives through her lectures and online classes. Her e-newsletters have more than fifty thousand subscribers. She lives with her husband, children, and stepchildren in Berkeley, California.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Ballantine Books
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Published on
Jan 20, 2015
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780553392050
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
Self-Help / Personal Growth / Happiness
Self-Help / Self-Management / Time Management
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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What do we wish most for our children? Next to being healthy, we want them to be happy, of course! Fortunately, a wide array of scientific studies show that happiness is a learned behavior, a muscle we can help our children build and maintain.

Drawing on what psychology, sociology, and neuroscience have proven about confidence, gratefulness, and optimism, and using her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures as a mom to demonstrate do’s and don’ts in action, Christine Carter, Ph.D, executive director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, boils the process down to 10 simple happiness-inducing steps.

With great wit, wisdom, and compassion, Carter covers the day-to-day pressure points of parenting—how best to discipline, get kids to school and activities on time, and get dinner on the table—as well as the more elusive issues of helping children build healthy friendships and develop emotional intelligence. In these 10 key steps, she helps you interact confidently and consistently with your kids to foster the skills, habits, and mindsets that will set the stage for positive emotions now and into their adolescence and beyond. Inside you will discover
 
• the best way avoid raising a brat—changing bad habits into good ones
• tips on how to change your kids’ attitude into gratitude
• the trap of trying to be perfect—and how to stay clear of its pitfalls 
• the right way to praise kids—and why too much of the wrong kind can be just as bad as not enough
• the spirit of kindness—how to raise kind, compassionate, and loving children
• strategies for inspiring kids to do boring (but necessary) tasks—and become more self-motivated in the process
 
Complete with a series of “try this” tips, secrets, and strategies, Raising Happiness is a one-of-a-kind resource that will help you instill joy in your kids—and, in the process, become more joyful yourself.


From the Hardcover edition.
Resiliency-focused approaches to managing trauma. This is a book to help clients to transform what happened to them to make them better instead of bitter.

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Written for all professionals and students working with trauma survivors (both adults and children) and their families and friends, it equips readers with practical direction for adopting a more positive approach and expanding their range of available techniques. Over a hundred exercises, thirty-three cases, and forty stories are presented to illustrate and help incorporate this new approach into practice.

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#1 New York Times Bestseller

Over 1 million copies sold

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—"not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault." Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

What do we wish most for our children? Next to being healthy, we want them to be happy, of course! Fortunately, a wide array of scientific studies show that happiness is a learned behavior, a muscle we can help our children build and maintain.

Drawing on what psychology, sociology, and neuroscience have proven about confidence, gratefulness, and optimism, and using her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures as a mom to demonstrate do’s and don’ts in action, Christine Carter, Ph.D, executive director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, boils the process down to 10 simple happiness-inducing steps.

With great wit, wisdom, and compassion, Carter covers the day-to-day pressure points of parenting—how best to discipline, get kids to school and activities on time, and get dinner on the table—as well as the more elusive issues of helping children build healthy friendships and develop emotional intelligence. In these 10 key steps, she helps you interact confidently and consistently with your kids to foster the skills, habits, and mindsets that will set the stage for positive emotions now and into their adolescence and beyond. Inside you will discover
 
• the best way avoid raising a brat—changing bad habits into good ones
• tips on how to change your kids’ attitude into gratitude
• the trap of trying to be perfect—and how to stay clear of its pitfalls 
• the right way to praise kids—and why too much of the wrong kind can be just as bad as not enough
• the spirit of kindness—how to raise kind, compassionate, and loving children
• strategies for inspiring kids to do boring (but necessary) tasks—and become more self-motivated in the process
 
Complete with a series of “try this” tips, secrets, and strategies, Raising Happiness is a one-of-a-kind resource that will help you instill joy in your kids—and, in the process, become more joyful yourself.


From the Hardcover edition.
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