Get It Done
If you are like me, you struggle to get things done. Even though most who know me consider me to be organized, I am far less productive than they imagine. At times I lose myself to procrastination.
That is why I was intrigued when TCK Publishing sent me a copy of the book Get It Done — The 21-Day Mind Hack System to Double Your Productivity and Finish What You Start by Michael Mackintosh (2018).
Michael makes big promises. He says his system is different because he explains how to overcome the resistance that holds us back from accomplishing what we desire.
The book does not provide strategies, timelines, or time management techniques. It is quite the opposite. Although there is planning, it’s quite simple. The book is divided into three parts and provides a step-by-step system for bringing our ideas to life. I tested it and I am sharing my take and results.
First Part: Changing Our Mindset
The first part of Get It Done explains 11 mindsets that are essential for us to understand what it takes to achieve what we desire. These are 1) considering the difference between long-term and short-term pain, 2) making a choice, 3) how the 80/20 rule plays a role, 4) the importance of not striving for perfection, 5) letting go of the idea that time is limited, 6) the types of resistance that arise, 7) fear and how to deal with it, 8) focus, 9) overcoming self-doubt, 10) doing it now, and 11) doing less and getting more done.
Some of these mindsets are unique. For example, mindset #5 deals with time. Most resources on productivity talk about time management. This doesn’t. Michael says that time management gives us the illusion of control, and that time cannot be managed. I love this!
One of the concepts I stress to the people I work with is that time is on our side. Time doesn’t work against us, it works for us, allowing us to accomplish what we desire and enjoy what we live. It was refreshing to find someone who has a similar concept of time.
On top of that the book highlights that we can achieve more by doing less. I have written about the importance of taking at least one full day off a week, and this is a concept that Michael agrees on. His hack #11 is about how we are more productive when we are well rested, and we have recharged ourselves. When we focus on doing too much and crossing items off our to-do lists, we burn ourselves out. We are more efficient when we are well rested.
Another mindset that I agree on with Michael, and that I also stress to my clients, is letting go of the idea of perfection, which is his hack #4. There is no such thing as perfection. Nothing will ever be fully ready. We will not have the exact conditions we want or manage to get the precise timing that we seek. That is simply not possible; things will happen as they happen. Michael says that instead of striving for perfection, we should strive for good enough. When we strive for perfection, we waste time in details that don’t matter to the bigger picture.
You’ll have to read the book to get a deeper look at the rest of these mindsets. What I like is that each mindset is explained in a different chapter, and each chapter has a set of questions for us to reflect on to determine the state of our mindset and how to shift our perspective.
Second Part: The 21-Day Hack
The second part describes the 21-day hack system, which Michael describes with the acronym WAR.
The first part of the acronym, the W, is another acronym: WHACK. This is the first and most crucial stage because it provides what we need to set the game plan. WHACK stands for:
W — The W’s or What, Why, When, & Where
H — How
A — Accountability
C — Conditions & Structure
K — Kick-Start
Going through the WHACK process asks us to get clear on what we want, create a plan, and get accountability. It also helps us prepare ourselves and plan for resistance.
I found this process took me less than an hour, but I believe that is because I was clear on what I wanted to accomplish. I am sure that someone who is unclear would take longer, but it is not a cumbersome process.
The second stage, the A in WAR, is Act. No explanation needed here. We have to do what we set out to do. Michael provides tips and tricks to ensure that we do the action every day of the challenge.
The third stage, the R in WAR, is Relaxation, and it involves celebrating and resting after the challenge is over. This was unexpected, for it’s rare that we see productivity books encouraging to rest and recharge after we’ve completing a goal. I’ve seen some encourage celebration, but resting is crucial to our wellness. Even in the celebration, Michael asks that we select something meaningful.
Third Part: Summary
The third part of the book brings it all together, provides additional resources, and gives a summary for added clarity and reinforcement.
The book is an easy read. It is less than 200 pages, the chapters are short, and it is easy to flip through.
The actual challenge was do-able. I followed each of the steps and it allowed me to prepare and plan for times in which I procrastinated and resisted. It also made the challenge accessible because it asks that we only work on one thing.
I thought it was interesting that in reaching out to support for accountability, it encourages us to commit to paying someone $100 per day of not doing the task we set out to do, and believe me, that was encouragement enough not just to make sure I got my task complete, but to make sure that the task I agreed to do was something I could actually accomplish.
Other than the action involved on a daily basis, the challenge was not time-consuming. In other words, I didn’t spend a lot of time in planning. Once I committed, my time went into accomplishing the task, which was rewarding.
I help people accomplish goals and overcome obstacles such as fear and resistance, and I understand how hard it is for people to change their mindset. I found this book to provide great roadmap to achieving projects.
The book contains additional resources and reference sites, including a page you can sign up for that sends support emails for the 21-day challenge. I encourage you to give it a try.
Michael Mackintosh: https://michaelmackintosh.com
Mackintosh, M. (2018). Get It Done — The 21-Day Mind Hack System to Double Your Productivity and Finish What You Start. Granger, IN: TCK Publishing.