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How to Have a Good Day

Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life
Narrated by: Caroline Webb
Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (322 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In How to Have a Good Day, economist and former McKinsey partner Caroline Webb shows listeners how to use recent findings from behavioral economics, psychology, and neuroscience to transform their approaches to everyday working life.

Advances in these behavioral sciences are giving us ever better understanding of how our brains work, why we make the choices we do, and what it takes for us to be at our best. But it has not always been easy to see how to apply these insights in the real world - until now.

In How to Have a Good Day, Webb explains exactly how to apply this science to our daily tasks and routines. She translates three big scientific ideas into step-by-step guidance that shows us how to set better priorities, make our time go further, ace every interaction, be our smartest selves, strengthen our personal impact, be resilient to setbacks, and boost our energy and enjoyment. Through it all, Webb teaches us how to navigate the typical challenges of modern workplaces - from conflict with colleagues to dull meetings and overflowing inboxes - with skill and ease.

Filled with stories of people who have used Webb's insights to boost their job satisfaction and performance at work, How to Have a Good Day is the book so many people wanted when they finished Nudge, Blink and Thinking Fast and Slow and were looking for practical ways to apply this fascinating science to their own lives and careers.

A remarkable and much-needed book, How to Have a Good Day gives us the tools we need to have a lifetime of good days.

©2016 Caroline Webb (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

" How to Have a Good Day is a smart, thorough, and eminently practical book. Just about every page offers a science-based tip to help you become better off - or, in many cases, just plain better." (Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive)
"Behavioral science has come of age in recent years, and it has begged for a world-class translator. Now we have one. Caroline Webb's peerless translation of the behavioral sciences into tools for shaping the quality of our day is the book we've been waiting for. Play with just 2% of the ideas in this book, and you might just end up changing your life's course. Words like 'magisterial' come to mind. Bravo." (Tom Peters, coauthor of award-winning best seller In Search of Excellence)
"Finally, a practical book based on evidence. How to Have a Good Day is grounded in state-of-the-art research on behavior and neuroscience, and animated with vivid examples from professionals who have successfully applied Webb's advice. It might even leave you looking forward to your next tricky conversation or challenging task as an opportunity to try out her tips." (Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times best-selling author of Give and Take and Originals)

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  • Ariel
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 02-04-16

Who Doesn't Want to Have a Good Day?

As an NPR devotee, I have become a big fan of the behavioral sciences lately. That was my initial draw to this book, even though I was concerned the work applications may not interest me, since I don't work in a traditional field. Much to my surprise, this book is not only funny and well paced, it's full of practical, and even better, science based advice that is useful in every walk of life. I feel like I learned a lot about my career life, but also interacting with my spouse- and even interacting with my toddler. Additionally, the author does a great job reading it, which is always a big crapshoot with author readers. I can't recommend it enough.

35 of 36 people found this review helpful

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Uh la la!

I was hesitant about getting this book, due to some reviewers objecting to three things:

1. "It only relates to the business-environment"
Simply not true. Yes, it does focus on business, but as we all know, business/work is a large part of most people's lives – furthermore, much of the advice is directly applicable to communicating at home, doing home chores and so on.

2. "It's too scientific / dry"
I personally don't find it "brain-scientist dry" at all. To the contrary, I'm thankful this isn't one of those Malcolm Gladwell-ish bestseller-recipe-based books, full of amusing anecdotes and uselessly dumbed down pop-science that would be more justified in a Wired article.

3. "It's all been written before by Kahneman et. al."
Yes, some of the concepts have been mentioned/covered before in other works, but what Caroline does superbly in this book, is making it easy to comprehend and directly applicable to your daily life. The book is well organized.

It's an intelligently written book, by an obviously smart woman. As a former McKinsey partner, she can be expected to have a clear, rational, sharp mind – and she does indeed deliver.

To top it off, Caroline has narrated it very well.

In fact, it's one of those books I finished fast, and already wanted to re-listen to, sooner rather than later! So much so that I haven't deleted the download from the app, which I normally do when I've finished a book.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Wow! Well done! Filled with practical tools to change your life

First off, I don't do reviews. I read tons of books and just don't take the time to do them because I expect a book to be good. This book was a masterpiece that so exceeded my expectations that I not only listened to it, I bought it hard copy and then outlined it so I would better learn it. I love how she incorporated science into work and home strategies.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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A good book bur not for audio format

How could the performance have been better?

Carolyn Webb should not have narrated it. Her voice is light and hard to listen to for very long without becoming distracted.

Any additional comments?

This is a good book with a fair number of good information to impart. It reads well. It fails as an audio book. In part because the narrator's voice made me want to want to go to sleep whenever I tried listening to it and in part because its really designed not to be read from cover to cover but rather explored which you just cannot easily do with an audio book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent advice

Too often I find books on the subject of habits go into the science behind everything way too deeply and not enough into actionable takeaways. This is not the case with this book, so it felt like a breath of fresh air. Will definitely go through again and again.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful Ideas, Empathetic Narration

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

While what Ms. Webb says can improve our lives on a daily basis; even under the direst of circumstances, I can find and apply a number of Ms. Webb's suggestions and improve the most hopeless situation.

Any additional comments?

For someone who reads from and listens to a lot of energetic, motivational speakers, there comes a time when one can, perhaps incorrectly, believe he/she has heard it all.

And then ... You hit that surprising gold mine - of fresh ideas, of tried and trusted solutions, of information rooted in multi-field research, of stories followed by crisp bullet-point advice that can really work and does not make one cringe and feel judged ....

And just when you are celebrating having learnt so much .... more veins of Gold are discovered. The ideas just keep coming.

And all this in a narration that is caring yet not falsely encouraging and that reminds I can do it.

This is what "Good Day" narration by Ms. Webb does for me. So much so, a few aural lessons from this book follow my daily meditation and prayer routine in the morning.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Teya
  • Dallas, TX
  • 03-02-17

Boring

I could not finish the book because it was sooo long and boring. Might be a better read. The narrators voice and slow speed of talk could be what killed it for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great evidence-based guide, for life and work

A great evidence-based guide for life and work! The author did a great job summarizing the current state of knowledge and emotional intelligence and delivers practical and effective recommendations that trascend the work live and will help readers get the best out of themselves at work and home.

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Good book to have a good day

I recommend this book, even if contain n too much stories,
This is to be listened one time,

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A good step towards helping yourself...

Just like any changes you want for yourself it has to be done one at a time and deliberately. This book gives you some good things to look at first. She gives reminders on some of the previous chapters which help show how with one change it can be incorporated with others. A book I will be listening to more than once to help on the road to self improvement, which can be influencing to others who are important in your life.