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Get Things Done: What stops smart people achieving more and how you can change

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Title: Get Things Done: What stops smart people achieving more and how you can change

Author: Robert Kelsey

Publisher: Capstone

Reviewer: Rebecca Myatt, nurse case manager, Thoracic Surgery

What was it like?

Get Things Done is an excellent book, which helps the reader to focus on the psychological and organisational impediments that prevent achievement of individual goals and aspirations. It opens with a rapid summary of the author’s life, his myriad uncompleted projects and his desire to change and finally achieve something. Sharing this chaotic history encourages engagement and the realisation that abandoned plans and misplaced ideas are not unique.

The book is divided into four sections, beginning with an examination of the psychology behind motivational theories, and exploring how we become trapped in our thought processes and habits through repeated behaviour.  Developing the right attitude towards good habits for success is based on faith, desire to achieve, meticulous planning and persistence. These key features are explored in detail in part two, which includes practical as well as theoretical suggestions. The third section focusses on developing skills for managing phone calls, emails and meetings. There is abundant advice on how to make these work in your favour rather than feeling overwhelmed or unprepared. The final chapter then focusses on persuading and influencing others around us, explaining how to create allies and negotiate conflict or tension.   

What were the highlights?

The book is accessible and well written, offering insight into psychology, motivational theory, goal setting and changing habits that hold us back.  The author shares his own experiences in a light hearted manner encouraging empathy and making the book enjoyable and easy to read.  Each section has a short, positive summary at the end, which encourages assimilation of the key points and suggests how the reader can move forward in their own development. 

Strengths & weaknesses:

By using real life examples, his own experiences and explaining the psychology behind our everyday actions, the author succeeds in encouraging examination of individual barriers to achievement and offers useful strategies to overcome these.

Who should read it?

This book is inspirational and accessible to anyone who wants to change their behaviour, become more motivated and ultimately achieve more from their life.

Get Things Done


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