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.