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The Sweet Spot cover art

The Sweet Spot

Written by: Christine Carter Ph.D.
Narrated by: Christine Carter Ph.D.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2015 Christine Carter (P)2015 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“If you, like me, are a fan 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—then I have a new book for you . . . The Sweet Spot.”—KJ Dell’Antonia, The New York Times (Motherlode blog)

“With all the agonizing about ‘having it all,’ UC Berkeley sociologist Christine Carter, PhD, blows us a breath of fresh air with her five-step, common-sense primer The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work. 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.

What listeners say about The Sweet Spot

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  • Tim
  • 2015-02-12

If you only buy one self-help book, this is it!

The author uses her own life's experiences and research while boiling down much of what is explained in other books by Carol Dweck, Csikszentmihalyi, and Viktor Frankl, into an easy to follow way of changing your outlook and improving you life. Great book!

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  • Diana
  • 2020-03-05

So good I immediately listened to it twice!

I love Christine's descriptions of life. Her tips are helpful for all people in any stage of life. I highly recommend (and can't wait to listen for a 3rd time!)

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  • Sally Stardust
  • 2015-09-19

Highly recommended.

This book not only feels actionable but it's profoundly inspiring and is deeply researched. I feel that I can recommend it to people who are left brained and people who are right brained. I want a physical copy so I can quickly reference it as needed and I absolutely plan on listening to this book again. Very grateful to have stumbled upon it, and Dr. Carter.

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  • Maryna S
  • 2024-02-02

Balance

the voice was annoying for me and made it hard to listen to but I enjoyed the book overall. a good reminder

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2023-06-27

A must read….

We’ll written, and practical information to make small and incremental steps to finding the sweet spot in home and the second home (work).

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  • Samantha
  • 2021-05-16

Very relateable!

The book provides so many ways to better yourself and the way you think. I loved it and I plan on listening to it again because it is so full of great tips and I’m sure I missed some the first time through. Also would be interesting to listen to at different times in your life and could probably gain different perspective from it.

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  • V.K.
  • 2021-03-11

Found My Sweet Spot

“Do you find yourself exasperated by the busyness of modern life? Have too many conflicting obligations and not enough time, energy, or patience to get everything done?” Yes, Dr. Carter, yes. *Cue emotionally charged weeping* The Sweet Spot was the exact thing I needed after stretching myself thin to the point of near breaking. I easily become so focused on trying to get to *all the things* that I invest my time in areas I shouldn’t, because I don’t pause to question the need for my time. As a mom, wife, friend, full-time employee in a fast-paced space, non-profit Board member, volunteer, and all of the other roles I love to play, it is KEY for me to prioritize my own happiness and be productive in the most efficient way, so I don’t fall into complete burnout.

One of my favorite tips: Contemplate death and destruction. :) Dr. Carter outlines recommendations with research throughout the book: I love all the data.

I devoured the audible version of this, and want to give a shoutout to Dr. Carter’s narration. Her voice alone was like a Ted talk: strong and inspiring. I've already listened to the book twice. Here’s to hoping you find your sweet spot.

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  • Danielle Green
  • 2019-08-06

excellent book for a perfectionist

the narrator was excellent. Great for a recovering perfectionist! has many applicable strategies to change your life today

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  • Svetlana
  • 2019-04-13

nice reminder of important things for happy life

the author uses lots references to research and experts advise, to prove her point, also lots of personal samples, I found it very helpful.

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  • Candice M. Hansen
  • 2019-02-18

Just an autobiography

I’ve never heard the words “I” “me” and “my” so much. It’s just a story about how this one woman found her “sweet spot”.

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  • zuleyha
  • 2020-02-17

L'importance de bien gérer son temps

Ce livre est très bien lu. Il permet de se rendre compte de l'importance de bien gérer son temps, en étant productif tout en ayant du temps pour soi. L'auteur souligne à quel point il est fondamental d'avoir du temps pour son bien-être et d'arrêter d'en culpabiliser. Un livre que j'ai beaucoup aimé.

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