Don’t Settle…

I started reading a new book a few days ago. It’s called ‘How to Get Things Done’ by Richard Templar, and almost immediately, I began to struggle with it. Maybe it’s because the previous two books I’ve read (Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and Adapt by Tim Harford) were both extremely thought provoking and quite deep, in an unassuming way, whereas this new book on my list smugly purports to be clever, and apparently full of ‘secrets’ about how to get stuff done. Whatever the reason, each night I find myself flicking through the book looking for a helpful point to jump off from, and very quickly failing and letting it fall to the floor.

This morning on a rare pre-breakfast weekend wander around Twitter I happened upon something called ’50 Inspiring Quotes from 50 Top Social Media Power Influencers’. Rachel Miller had shared the article and despite it’s crappy title, I chose to read it based because Rachel often shares interesting stuff. I haven’t worked my way through the whole piece yet, but so far I’m particularly struck by this observation from Chris Brogan:

“Don’t settle: Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.”

Sorry Richard – on this occasion Chris is right. I think your book is crappy. It comes across as smug, twee and…crappy. I’m quitting on it, even though I spent £10 of hard earned cash, on this occasion I will not fall foul of post purchase rationalisation. On this occasion I will not finish this crappy book.

5 thoughts on “Don’t Settle…

    1. Doug Shaw Post author

      Hi Gareth

      I googled Dave Allen – and I found the famous Irish comedian.

      I googled David Allen and found the author of a book called ‘Getting Things Done’, the book you are referring to I think? Have you read it? Did you like it?

      I sincerely hope David Allen’s book is better than the one I tried to read, which is called ‘How to Get Things Done’.

      Cheers – Doug

      Reply
    1. Doug Shaw Post author

      Hi Jesse, thanks for being in touch. Honestly – I was in a pretty stinky mood when I wrote this post, and I’m often put off by terms like ‘inspiring quotes’ and ‘power users’, as they frequently seem to signpost dull stuff. But I was wrong, and I’m glad about that as it’s a good piece of work with some good helpful stuff in it.

      I’ll keep an eye out for more of your work and I’ll be sure to check it when I’m in a better mood next time!

      Cheers – Doug

      Reply
      1. Jesse Aaron

        Awesome! I appreciate your kind words and sorry to hear you were in an off mood at the time. I do agree with those terms signaling dull content, as they are pretty generic. Yet, after going through the archives of all 50, I felt this title would perform best as something simple/generic. I guess it was more of a “playing it safe title” as numbers and “how to” are said to grab our attention most. But I respect the lens of a thoughtful title; one that does not derive from the “statistically proven” model and still captures our attention. Thanks again for your time Doug, enjoy your day!

        Reply

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