‘How to Get Sh*t Done’ gets the job done

By Caroline Gordon

Editorial Staff

If you’re like me, you like to get stuff done.

The feeling of checking something off a to-do list makes me feel efficient and makes me want to do even more.

Oftentimes I feel like I can’t stop getting stuff done, whether it’s sneaking in another workout or doing extra photo editing. Although I like to stay busy, I wondered how many of the activities I checked off my list during the day served me.

I decided to do some research on productivity and how to make the most out of my time. The book, “How to Get Sh*t Done” by Erin Falconer, helped me be more productive while taking things off my jam-packed to-do list.

Throughout the book, Falconer gives anecdotes about her personal life and her goal to grow her business, LEAF, and manage the editor-in-chief position for the self-help website, Pick the Brain. The book is targeted more towards women, but this read is helpful for all.

Falconer starts off the book by defining POP, which stands for personality, opportunity, and productivity. “POP takes personality (P) – who you are – and combines it with where you are in life and in the world, as a woman, a.k.a. your opportunity (O), to create your very own definition of productivity (P).”

Falconer’s goal throughout the book is to redefine what being productive means to you. She notes that your definition of productivity may look different than someone else’s and not to compare yourself to anyone else. I appreciate how Falconer discussed obstacles you could face and how not to let them get in the way.

“Sometimes a roadblock is a bitter pill to swallow, but sometimes it’s an unexpected gift. Realizing you don’t really want the thing you thought you wanted means you can free up all the energy to pursue your real goals.”

My favorite aspect about this book is Falconer’s constant positive tone. She touches upon internal self-dialogue and how crucial it is to be positive.

Positivity is a huge part of this book and I like that because positivity aids productivity.

Falconer talks about how to use the internet to your advantage opposed to letting it consume your life and slow you down. She offered four helpful tips on how to minimize your screen time.

After reading this book, I began implementing all four. The four tips are: disable the culprits – meaning control urges to social media binge; gather together all the tasks you can do offline; set a schedule – which includes distractions; and make your current work full screen.

I think these recommendations are of utmost importance, especially to younger generations, and I am so glad she discussed these.

One of her most important messages is to lose the idea that you should always do what others want you to do and to have courage to say no in order to allocate time to your own productivity.

This is a bold and blunt message.

I admire how she gets to the point and I think this is excellent, straight-up advice. 

Finally, Falconer discussed burnout vs. exhaustion, which I had difficulty differentiating before reading this book.

She referred to the American Psychiatric Association’s markers of burnout: emotional exhaustion, lost sense of self, and sense of failure. I think it was clever how she made sure to dedicate a whole chapter to burnout and how to identify and stop it.

In my opinion, ending the book with the chapter “Avoiding Burnout” made sense and tied in well with the rest of the book.

As someone who used to wish there were 25 hours in a day, I am glad I came across this book to change my perception of productivity.

I would rate this book five out of five bookmarks.