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Get-It-Done Guy's Nine Steps to Work Less and Do More

Getting it done is one of the key sources of business happiness.

One management expert, Stever Robbins, in fact bases his recommendations on urging clients to do just that because it not only saves time and toil, but will actually help business people to be happier. 

“A lot of what we humans do doesn’t serve us very well," Robbins says.  "It doesn’t move us toward our goals; it doesn’t make us happy.”  Robbins, whose Get-It-Done-Guy podcasts boast six million downloads, has been coaching entrepreneurs, businesspeople and students for more than a decade.

In his new book, "Get-It-Done Guy's Nine Steps to Work Less and Do More" (St. Martin’s Griffin; September 2010), Robbins shares his strategies for accomplishing more while working less.  And being happy.

Here they are:

1. Live and Work On Purpose – First, figure out what’s really important.  Identify top priorities in life and work to match actions to goals. Robbins shows how to create and align "goal ladders" and "life maps" to help do this. Once people know what they want to achieve, they’re ready to follow the rest of his advice.

2. Stop Procrastinating – Procrastination kills effectiveness.  One of the best ways to stop procrastinating is to "break time into pieces," using baby steps to move forward, Robbins says. "When there's an end in sight, it's a lot easier to get going." Robbins explains how to change the way one thinks to overcome procrastination and how to tap other people to help one move ahead.

3. Conquer Your Technology – Cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices are supposed to give users additional freedom, but far too often they create time traps.  “When technology diverts you while pretending to help you, that’s the worst,” Robbins warns.  He shows how to tame voice mail, e-mail, computers and PDAs.  Most importantly, he gives specific advice to help readers separate themselves from technology and not allow a machine’s interruptions to set the day’s agenda.

4. Cultivate Focus – “Eliminate distractions by deferring them to paper and then to designated interruption time.”  He counsels people to set boundaries and say “no”; to stop multitasking; and to find ways to group similar tasks or similar contents, even to designate a specific day of the week for each cluster of tasks.

5. Stay Organized – “Many people confuse ‘organized’ with ‘neat’,” Robbins says.  “Organized means a place for everything and everything in its place . . . The place may be in one of several dozen piles floating around the office, but as long as I always know which pile of paper, I can go straight to what I need, when I need it.”  Robbins includes tips for organizing one’s physical environment, schedule, brain and the information needed to get the job done.

6. Don't Waste Time – Robbins advises readers to use the 80/20 Rule (that 80% of the work can be done in 20% of the time) to pick and then accomplish the work that’s most important to their goals.  He also suggests that people stop trying to do things perfectly; shows how to make faster decisions using “absolute lists”; and shows why being prepared is the best time-saver of all.

7. Optimize – “Get rid of what isn’t working so you’ll have the time to optimize the rest of what you do,” Robbins says. Some of the best ways to optimize include using helpful feedback to identify blind spots that could be limiting effectiveness; recognizing when it’s time to call in an expert to get the job done for you; and listening to your own advice.  He also suggests keeping a “learning log” – a kind of diary in which one jots down what one has learned each day; creating more-effective to-do lists that allow one to delegate; and creating resource books as one learns new tasks, so that one has everything one could ever need at one's fingertips.

8. Build Stronger Relationships – Building a network of contacts allows people to harness the power of others’ strengths. "When you get stuck, the people you’ve developed strong relationships with will help you out...make it much easier to find jobs, do research quicker and call on others for career help, which can save you a lot of time."

9. Leverage - Robbins offers "several ways to make sure when you do get results, you get better, stronger, and faster than you'd ever dreamed possible," by leveraging the other tips to the next level. Among these pointers are suggestions for using technology to automate time-consuming tasks, "reusing stuff" to save the time that would have been required to replace it, and to further nurture those longstanding relationships.

Robbins helps his readers find new ways to be effective at work, while uncovering more time to enjoy their lives.  “With each step, you’ll reclaim more and more of your life," he says.  "You will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel . . . You’ll find yourself homing in on the things that actually move you forward, and learning the skills you need to resist the busy-ness that pulls you away from what you’re trying to achieve.”

For more information about Robbins, visit



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