Dorie’s Book Review: Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More

Stever Robbins, author of Get-It-Done Guy's 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More

Stever Robbins, author of Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More

In my ongoing quest to invent more time, I recently tackled another productivity book–this one from my friend Stever Robbins, the “Get-It-Done Guy” of podcast fame. His new book is Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More, and here are my favorite tips (in case you’re even more time challenged than I am and need a summary):

  • The best way to be productive is not to do things well that you shouldn’t be doing at all. Construct a “Life Map” to determine your priorities, and stick to them.
  • Divide up your time into three kinds of days–focus, admin, and spirit. On “Focus” days, you drill down on an important task–that’s where the progress happens that you feel really good about. But “Admin” days are necessary, too–writing that masterpiece on a Focus day will be cold comfort if they shut down your telephone and electricity. Pay those bills and you’ll be all set. Finally, a “Spirit” day is your recharge time, which gives everything else meaning.
  • Too many choices can be stressful (a key insight of behavioral economics). Limit your own choices and increase your happiness. Determine what your Absolute No’s and Absolute Yeses are–and if the new car or new desk or whatever you need meets those criteria, just buy it. No need to waste hours of your life evaluating 30 different options when this one will be just fine.
  • Eliminate “tolerations,” which is coach-speak for “minor things that annoy you but don’t seem like a big enough deal to do anything about.” You’ll feel better and less stressed on an ongoing basis if you make the time to knock them out. Over the course of the next 10 days, pick 10 minor things and get them done. In my case, that means replacing my HVAC filter and hanging up a photo that’s been languishing on my desk.

What are your favorite ways to conquer clutter (mental or physical) and become more productive?

Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant who has worked with clients including Google, Yale University, and the National Park Service. Listen to her podcasts or follow her on Twitter.