How to Get Sh*t Done: Why Women Need to Stop Trying to Do Everything So They Can Achieve Anything by Erin Falconer
Genre: Nonfiction (Personal Growth) | Pub Date: 2018 | My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.🌙
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Erin Falconer, editor in chief and co-owner of the highly respected self-improvement site Pick the Brain (with over 1.8 million monthly page views), shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more.
In the first productivity book by a woman in a decade, Erin Falconer will show you how to do less—a lot less. In fact, How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.
Packed with real-life advice, honest stories from Erin’s successful career, and dozens of actionable resources, How to Get Sh*t Done will forever reframe productivity so that you can stop doing everything for everyone and start doing what matters to you.
Somewhere around October, I finally admitted what has been a long time coming: I’m a sucker for self-help books. To be fair, I suppose this started around age 10, when I became obsessed with every single Chicken Soup for the Soul book I could get my hands on. Sure, self-help (or, as it’s now being re-branded, “personal growth”) is cheesy. Sure, a lot of what these authors typically have to offer is advice you could just as easily give yourself, if you just had the balls. But I have to admit, sometimes it’s easier to take advice from folks who at least have a book deal.
How to Get Sh*t Done does follow the typical layout of the genre. Each chapter begins with a story from Falconer’s life as a writer and internet entrepreneur. She details how she’s failed hugely in life, and what she learned from each failure. Falconer proposes a unique method called POP for Personality, Opportunity, and Productivity. She argues that before you can be truly productive, you have to get clear about who you are and where your opportunities lie. Each chapter concludes with a checklist of introspective activities designed to guide you toward a more focused understanding of yourself. Each set of ideas builds on itself, ending with her final breakdown of how to design a schedule that works for you and helps you achieve what you want without burning out.
What’s different about this, and why I rated it so highly, is Falconer’s woman-focused perspective. This truly is the first self-help style book that prioritizes women’s specific issues. Falconer discusses how women feel the need to do everything—excel in our careers, be the perfect spouses, take care of our families, and also somehow be magically fit and focused. What this means is that we constantly feel like we have no time to actually do what we want, and we’re left feeling selfish if we take even half an hour to ourselves once in a while. We run ourselves ragged so that we can’t actually achieve what we truly want. On top of that, we’re not really encouraged to even focus on what we want, because we’re so busy doing what everyone else wants us to do. We say “yes” to things we really want to say “no” to in order to avoid being perceived as a bitch. We over-commit because we’re trained to always be busy, as if busyness is some sort of cult we all aspire to join. In How to Get Sh*t Done, Erin Falconer encourages us to let all that sh*t go and focus on what we truly value.
This would have been an instant 5-star read for me if it hadn’t been for the chapter on outsourcing. Falconer argues that women need to become more comfortable with outsourcing tasks that don’t serve their main goals in life. While I agree that we should all be more comfortable with asking for help from family/roommates when it comes to household maintenance and childcare, I couldn’t relate to the idea of being able to pay someone else to do things I don’t want to do. Sure, it would be nice to have someone come clean my house, but I honestly can’t afford it. Even if I could, I don’t think I would feel comfortable paying another woman to do something I don’t want to do. The fact is, as a person living on less money than pretty much anyone else I know, there’s just no way I could afford to outsource. The reality of my life is doing things that I often don’t want to do. All I can do is try to focus my spare hours toward what I want to achieve.
That being said, this is a great read for anyone who’s ever felt frustrated by being pulled in a thousand different directions. How to Get Sh*t Done will help you focus your energy on what truly matters to you and give you some tools to help you get there.
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What’s your favorite self-help book? What genre do you feel guilty for enjoying? What are your top 3 goals for 2019? Let’s talk in the comments!