At the time of noticing ‘Get Your Sh*t Together’ by Sarah Knight in the book stores, I was feeling overwhelmed.
Paid work, home chores & admin, the children’s timetables and voluntary work were proving a challenge to keep on top of, plus a couple of big projects were looming in the background that I hadn’t found the time to get around to.
And I lacked the time and energy to focus on my passion – writing my blog!
All this was particularly frustrating to me as I am usually an incredibly organised person. I used to deliver training workshops on Time Management FFS!
So receiving a copy for my birthday couldn’t have come at a better time. I just had to get my shit together to read it!! I finally finished the book on holiday and thought I’d share with you my main take-aways from Sarah Knight’s no-nonsense guide to sorting your life out.
The author describes herself as an anti-guru. The book is certainly not your usual self-help guide. There’s lots of swearing for a start (as the title of the book suggests). But the lack of pyscho-waffle and Knight’s direct and humorous tone is accessible and impact-full. With lots of irreverent wit, plus reference to Knight’s own personal experiences, it’s very easy and enjoyable to read and digest.
Not seeing the wood for the trees and losing a sense of control were my issues. Knight calls it Fuck Overload™.
With to-do lists as long as my arm and feeling pulled in too many directions, I did what many do… resort to fire-fighting and procrastination. That is tackling the urgent, most demanding tasks and then crashing and doing something entirely un-productive!
The funny thing is, I am well-versed in time-management techniques. I know Steven Covey’s Urgent vs Important time management matrix (from his bestselling business book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) like the back of my hand.
But in the midst of my stress, I became a classic victim and demonstrated all the symptoms of poor time management: tiredness, procrastination, indecisiveness, panic, rushing to do everything and not doing it well!
Put everything into perspective
‘Get Your Sh*t Together’ reminded me to stop, slow down and take stock of everything. When you are rushing around from pillar to post, of course everything appears to be overwhelming. There’s no time to pause and decide what do next and what the best approach is; the mountain just seems to get higher and higher. By slowing down you allow yourself space to think. More often than not, that mountain is not as high as it seems.
I love a to-do list! But I wasn’t managing my list effectively. Knight’s simple approach isn’t rocket science. Make the list and prioritise the tasks that are urgent for that day, move them to a ‘must-do’ list. The other tasks go to tomorrow’s list. So simple… and it means that the day is much more manageable.
Ask for help
Knight reminded me that of the tasks on my to-do list, there are other people in my household that can and should help. The kids are old enough to help with the laundry, car insurance quotes can be obtained by Mr Club Forty and everyone can assist with the seasonal garden clear up. I don’t have to be the martyr and do it all myself.
Break big tasks into smaller, manageable tasks
The big projects I was having trouble starting were causing me stress and the reason that I wasn’t getting on with them is that I didn’t know where or how to start! Knight’s advice on breaking the big tasks into small, manageable tasks was obvious (again!) but she also pointed out the value in goal-setting. Strategy – Focus – Commitment is a mantra that she repeats throughout the book.
‘Get Your Sh*t Together’ also offers smart (but not earth shattering) advice on how to save effectively, manage work/life balance, control impulses and improve relationships. Whatever shit you need to sort out in your life, Sarah Knight has it pretty much covered!
I struggle to fit everything in to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; it’s a constant challenge. ‘Get Your Sh*t Together’ has certainly provided me with some good tools – most I knew already, but had failed to deploy.
If you are looking for a light-hearted guide on how to gain control and use your time effectively to achieve what you want to do, then I absolutely recommend this book.
I am now keen to read Sarah Knight’s first book ‘The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F**k’.
As always, please share your thoughts and review of the book, if you have read it.
Also I would love to know if you face any of the challenges I mention in this post and how you mange them.
Thanks for reading!