This book helped me manage the most troublesome employee in my company – me – the business owner!  

Sometimes we entrepreneurs are overly focused on leading our employees and forget about the guidance and direction that we need ourselves, to win in business and life.

Basically, this book, Get Your Sh*t Together, by Sarah Knight (@MCSnugz), will do for your business and life, what Tim Ferriss did for the workweek – break it into small, manageable chunks that leave you with plenty of time to pursue your dream of becoming a happy entrepreneur, or whatever goal you desire.

I picked up this book in an airport bookshop while traveling for business since I am always looking for entrepreneurial lessons.  The title – Get Your Sh*t Together hit me right between the eyes. At the time I was feeling scattered, overwhelmed and unproductive in my business.

I felt like I was going in circles and did not know how to get onto the straight road towards goal accomplishment. My sh*t was decidedly not together. 🙁

Issues of distraction and impulse control were plaguing me, and I also was overscheduling myself to attempt to get more done, but only ended up accomplishing less and getting more frustrated.

Her explanation of Mental Decluttering 101 made a lot of sense to me, and was just the breakthrough I needed. You see, I am a stickler for keeping my desk and files orderly. Yet, I was carrying around a cluttered storage space on my shoulders every day- my brain! It needed a good thorough cleaning and purge session.

The small size and irreverently funny writing style made it a quick and fun read. But don’t be fooled by its seeming simplicity to think that it does not contain valuable, meaty advice – because it does.

Sure, the book is filled with the word, shi*t, which I thought actually made for good emphasis and sounded to me like a good friend who is not afraid to tell you hard truths.  Charming little charts and quotes throughout the book also illustrate her points well.

Her advice is especially relatable, and trustworthy because it is the self-same method that she used to quit her stifling corporate job and pursue her dream of starting her a company on a tropical isle – which she accomplished!

Since 2005, a happy islander in the Dominican Republic, she is running her successful writing and editing company for top authors such as Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl (one of my favorite books).

This book is the how-to guide for her first bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. A practical parody that introduced her NotSorry Method for mental decluttering to unleash your power and free you up to spend your time, money and energy on things that truly matter to you.

In fact, I did not read her first book. Instead, I began with this how-to guide because my disorganized schedule and projects needed an emergency intervention – stat.

The two best things about this book for me were her techniques of GYST and Must-Do lists.

This GYST concept is explained by using three things you probably keep good track of daily – your keys, phone, and wallet. She likens these items to the three essential elements of successful goal attainment, strategy, focus, and commitment.  Which she then further breaks down into actionable items which I could easily understand and implement quickly.

Her GYST system is a play on the word, “gist” which the dictionary defines as “the real point of an action”.

I found the information about strategy the most helpful part of her GYST system. She explained that a strategy is simply all the small, manageable steps of a plan – my plan – compiled and ready to be put into action.

There was a stalled logo design project that I got progressing nicely with this GYST system.

First I made a list of all the steps needed to get the desired results. These included researching graphics options, talking to digital vendors, getting quotes, and drafting a budget.

Then I broke them up into small manageable chunks and set aside (which I then added to my calendar) time to complete each chunk. First decide when you want your goal achieved, such as 3 months or a year, etc. then divide your steps into that many days.

Each day I am able to make a small commitment which is much easier than committing to a mountain of difficult work. Quickly I noticed that because my work was better planned, I was actually enjoying my workday more. Plus I got satisfaction and confidence knowing that I was proceeding towards my goal with every small step completed. This helped me stay on course and not get distracted – which is one of my major problems.

After a lifetime of being tyrannized by my To-Do lists, her concept of a MUST-Do list was both refreshing and freeing.

My time has two enemies – prioritization and procrastination – both which confuse me and put undue pressure on myself which ultimately results in “paralysis by analysis”.

Her Must-Do Method showed me how to take my previous To-Do list and cull it into a shorter list of things that I can – actually – get done in a day, not what I wish I could accomplish, that was unrealistic for a single days work.

Her simple The Must-Do Method:

  1. Make a to-do list
  2. Prioritize items based on urgency
  3. Move what had to get done today to a must-do list
  4. Do that stuff and save the rest for tomorrow
  5. Repeat steps 1-4

Practicing these method has reduced my stress dramatically, and I am getting many of the truly important items completed. In the past, these tasks were mixed in with all of my tasks and they often slipped through the cracks and went undone.

Also, this book has an excellent index, which I appreciate in a nonfiction book for future reference. When my mind wanders, and I get off track, it is easy to look up the word “focus” and find over 25-page references filled with helpful advice.

Check out the fun flow chart on page #81 titled, Get your Sh*t Together. It begins with, Start with a Goal and then asks you, “Do you have a plan to achieve it? (That’s your strategy), Yes or No. Travel through the maze of yes/no questions about possible pitfalls and how to get back on track to goal achievement.

I recommend this book to all business owners, solopreneurs, and freelancers who want to reduce their stress and get more accomplished towards their important goals.