I was asked to review Stever Robbins’ recently published book, ‘Get It Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More”. I’ve been a listener of his podcast, Get It Done Guy for quite awhile now, so I was interested to see what his book offered. I thought it would be great to have the paperback as a reference tool – that’s the advantage of a book over a podcast!
I was interested to see what the magical 9 steps would be – they are below. For this review, I’m going to talk about the three I’ve highlighted as they were the most beneficial to me.
- Step 1. Live and Work on Purpose
- Step 2: Stop procrastinating
- Step 3: Conquer your Technology XXXX
- Step 4: Cultivate focus
- Step 5: Stay Organized
- Step 6: Stop Wasting Time
- Step 7: Optimize!
- Step 8: Build stronger relationships
- Step 9: Leverage!
Are there any of us who don’t procrastinate – at least once in awhile? Stever suggests putting tasks in small chunks of time, making daily tasks a habit – don’t stop to think about if you want to do something, just do it. Sometimes we think too much about something instead of just doing it. Make recurring work tasks habitual, i.e. second nature.
He also suggests not going it alone. Get some friends/associates together and motivate each other to get things done by setting up a time to ‘check in’ with each other, give a brief synopsis of what’s been accomplished and what you plan to do next. Accountability. I find it even more motivating to set a time limit on achieving goals – adding in a little reward at the end is a good idea too!
You can have the Stop Procrastination Chapter for your very own. (Download the Chapter)
Of course you have to get organized before you can stay organized. You can be organized and still have a messy office. You can be organized if you have a neat office/home. The key is having a system that fits your style and stick to it.
Stever gives step by step instructions in his book on what works for him.If that system doesn’t suit you, then just do some internet searches, look at some other people’s ideas and try them out. You may have to try more than a couple to find what works for you.
He’s a believer of a place for everything and everything in its place. Take one room or maybe even a drawer at a time and sort and sift through things. If you can’t find a place for something, Stever says to throw it out. That’s a bit hasty for me. I will put things in a box or corner of my closet and keep it another six months. Even after that long, I still have a hard time getting rid of some things. However, after things are gone, I rarely regret it.
The book has very specific examples and steps for organizing both paper and belongings. When we know where our stuff is, we’re so much more efficient, happy and productive.
Stever points out that we do the same things over and over again, even if they don’t work. ‘We love what’s ‘familiar, more than we love getting what we want’.
This means perhaps changing the kind of organizational system we’re currently using (if it’s not working for us). He urges us to take a look at many personal and business facets of our lives and analyze them to see how they can be done better, with less work, or perhaps you can delegate. Some areas to think about and get better at could be grocery shopping, email, preparing for tax time, throwing a party and on it goes.
For repetitive jobs I do, I’m always looking for a faster, better way to do them – I mean optimize them! Usually I think of how to do this on my own, but Stever points out that sometimes it’s good to bring in an expert to get us on the right track.
Point of Contention
Overall, I was impressed with the level of detail given for accomplishing certain tasks. Many books just talk about getting organized, optimized, etc. but don’t give specifics.
Stever and I parted ways in his advice in Step 3 on conquering technology when he wrote about achieving “Inbox Zero” so easily your head spins.
His advice – Select all the messages in your inbox — Delete them
No, he wasn’t kidding.After deleting everything, he said to send a form letter to everyone stating that since the backlog of emails was so great, to cope I had to delete them all. Please resend anything that was important. Wow. How many of us in the real world can do something like that? I read this part to one of my clients and she thought it was pretty arrogant. Well put.
As a VA (virtual assistant), I can not, for a minute, entertain doing something like that. I can think of a whole lot of other professions/positions that would be in a world of hurt if they followed this advice. Whew.
Overall, I thought the book was well and thoughtfully written with specific, concise summaries at the end of each chapter. I ‘m also appreciative of the great resource page he’s posted for anyone to access for links to resources mentioned in the book. You can find it here.
I also enjoyed reading this review from Chris Abraham. He got to interview Stever and so has some unique insights.
It’s important to point out that all the tips, tricks, charts and resources in his book won’t help or do a thing for you unless you want to make a change in your actions to produce a different, and desired result. The book has specific steps and suggestions, but it’s up to you/me to implement them.