Customer Review

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting life done, 10 April 2014
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This review is from: Get Things Done: What Stops Smart People Achieving More and How You Can Change (Paperback)
Plenty of authors have written about getting things done and most offer strategies and mind attitudes. Robert Kelsey however offers more of a philosophy than most, interweaved around his personal and seemingly as yet ongoing personal challenges and harsh self- criticism.
Kelsey is a devastatingly good writer. He doesn't ramble or fudge. He weighs and deploys words carefully and powerfully. The best example I found was his take on visualisation. Visualisation is a common subject in many self- help books and some books written from an evidence-based standpoint, see it as the comfort zone of dreamers and fantasists rather than doers. In a bracket within a sentence on page 195, he demonstrates how both viewpoints can be right.
This is a powerful and deep book which is outstandingly researched. As well as referencing important writers in the wider self- help genre, Kelsey deploys a great skill of embellishing and honing their strategies "with a few thoughts" of his own. He quotes original sources rather than adopties and popularisers of quotes. So he quotes the lesser known German originator, rather than the American General who popularised the concept that plans do not survive the very start of military engagement. Of course he is at pains to say that this does not mean that you don't make plans but that you adapt and remain flexible once in progress.
The book hugely rewards dipping in again once read as the book is so densely packed with powerful and concisely expressed content, that the first read doesn't reveal the overall depth.
So why have I only given the book a four, when on occasions I have given lesser books a five. Well firstly I am conscious that self- help can so easily become shelf-help and the author has rather used this book for self- analysis, confession and introspection. He opens the book with a lot of time devoted to psychological and medical conditions, which may be off putting to positive thinkers. This opening is almost a distraction forming a pattern that is detached from the rest of the book. Therefore some may lose patience waiting for the good bits.
Also the author appears locked into the written word and remains detached from his audience. You are never invited at any time to contact him or his website and he doesn't refer to anybody he has helped. ie he has no seminars or coaching to sell and does not invite feedback or discussion. You will no doubt note that other reviewers have felt some discomfort with the book and with so much choice available, for many the solutions lie elsewhere in books requiring less understanding.

I hope however, that like me, you will recognise a talented writer and informed thinker immersed within the pages.
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