We wrote Think Small because we recognised that many of the core ideas used by the Behavioural Insights Team to develop public policy could be used by all of us to achieve our personal and work goals. Think Small is a framework that sets out seven steps that any of us can take to achieve big goals in our lives. It’s about thinking small to reach big.
It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that the examples from the book that most people seem to be interested in are the personal ones which show how we have used the principles to overcome our own frailties.
For example, Owain made use of simple plan-making techniques to reduce the amount of alcohol he drinks. He set himself a simple, easy-to-follow rule of not drinking alcohol during the week while at home – a rule he’s stuck to for the past three years. It’s far simpler to police these ‘bright lines’, than to count units of alcohol through the week.
Rory wanted to exercise more, but kept finding that there were other more important (or fun) things to do. So he put in place a commitment device, and made it public by displaying it in the middle of the Behavioural Insights Team’s offices. This simple technique helped him stick to his exercise goal.
One of the seven steps in the Think Small framework is ‘Plan’. We argue in this step that by keeping things simple (as per Owain’s easy-to-follow alcohol rule) and building the things required to meet our goals into our daily routines, we are more likely to achieve them. This is why, in writing the book, we linked small pockets of writing time to our weekly routines (Owain, for example, would write for 45minutes after getting up early in the morning).
And it is also why we think audiobooks are interesting. They enable busy people, who might have got out of the habit of reading, to engage with books as part of their daily routine. You might, for example, stick on an audiobook on the commute to work, when you’d otherwise by listening to the radio or reading the paper. Or listen to a book when you’re doing the cooking or cleaning the house.
So that’s why we are really pleased to say that there is now an audiobook version of Think Small. We hope you enjoy it, and continue to send us your own examples of how you’ve used the book to achieve goals in your own lives: tweet us @B_I_Tweets, or drop us an email.