... but there are loads of books like this, self-improvement, time-management, life coaching, confidence-building, blah blah blah. I've read worse and more derivative stuff on time management, and this does offer positive advice, so if you're a junkie for this kind of book, yes you should definitely read it - but if you have other time management books/ideas, it is difficult to judge whether this will add anything to what you already know (or should be doing with your to-do lists or diaries or calendars or whatever). The key to this stuff is always actually doing it rather than reading about how to do it!
This is a useful book which provides sensible advice for busy people. The author has combed the literature of self-help and produced a readable collection of down-to-earth ideas. I have made use of several tips. You don't need to read it cover to cover - just dip in if you need specific pointers.
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.
Robert Kelsey is clearly writing on a subject he knows in a great deal of depth. Far from being just another "I'm successful, this is how I do it, so this is what you should do too" self help book, this book stems from the author's many years of reading, trying (and often failing), and learning from the suggestions and manifestos of other books. He quotes them frequently (the bibliography lists over 50 items), taking the salient points, distilling them down to the core ideas and adding a helpful commentary. His honesty about his successes and failures is very disarming, and one of the things which really makes this book stand out from the crowd.
The book contains a wealth of tips and suggestions for improving productivity and helping to oust bad habits which stop you from "Getting Things Done". Only time will tell as to whether they stick, but this book has given me inspiration to try a number of ideas which could just help to make life a bit more productive, and avoid unnecessary failures.
This book is clearly written, does not waste words, re-states the blindingly obvious to all of us who continue NOT to do the blindingly obvious in ways that made me want to GET THINGS DONE. So thank you Robert Kelsey for writing it - it's already making me infinitely more productive. Of course, it's easy to review such a book in terms of it being light weight or 'obvious' or 'uneven' which several other reviewers have done. I donl't notice any of them offering tips that aren't covered in the book! Sure Kelsey goes over old ground - but he does it wonderfully well and persuasively, he is pragmatic and realistic and he expects us to take three steps forward and then fall steps back, and is honest. So for me this is a really great and inspiring text deserving of the 5 stars I've given it.