Books, Professional Development

Book 609: Get It Done – Michael Mackintosh

This book just wasn’t for me. I felt like it took MONTHS to read (it only took two weeks, but it was two weeks too long). The publicist reached out to me a bout this book sometime in 2018 and I just now got around to it, so clearly I needed the time management, but apparently not much else in this book.*

Overall, this book just didn’t sit well with me. I had a lot of issues with how Mackintosh approached his time management system (it’s a WAR, you have to WHACK things) and the layout/formatting of the book had quite a few issues. Mackintosh builds his whole premise on the book that if you have a better time system, know what your challenges are going to be, and set up your goals and limitations ahead of time you’ll be perfectly set to finish a project in 21 days. You can do this with his help by buying the book AND/or subscribing to his class/workshop.

Now don’t get me wrong, as much as I despise consultants and self-help gurus I can appreciate their hustle. You have to be able to hustle to be self-sustaining, let alone make a lot of money like Mackintosh appears to tout in his book. And yet, he poo-poos his whole industry and says the following,

“The fantasy persists that simply by taking a course or buying a book a person can be magically transformed into a vastly superior version of themselves and their entire life will radically improve. The (unconscious) idea is that once we know about something, we can carry on as before doing all the same old things, and yet somehow get radically better results. In other words, people are taught and then believe that they can stay the same as they are and yet improve their entire lives. No one will openly admit to this, but it’s nevertheless going on all the time in the backs of their minds, preventing them from actually creating the success they want.” (4)

And sure, he’s saying you can’t depend on the book or the workshop, but that’s exactly what he’s touting. Right? You may as well have called this book, “The End of the Self Help Industry” or “Ditch Self-Help Books and Workshops” forever if that’s what your purpose was. But it isn’t, because the further you get through the book he starts to drop hints about the bonus materials and the exclusive workshop and groups that can support you as you make your way through the 21 day process.

All of this being said, there were some great tips in the book about finding the time to do the work you want to do and making sure you’re not interrupted. Most of them were regurgitated and you can read in any number of books. I did find the 80/20 rule or the Pareto principal (Wikipedia link) section interesting and will be reading some of the research he alludes to but doesn’t go into.

And then there was the formatting. I’m not sure how this book got through the publisher/editor/copy editor/author, but it’s just not great. The font is okay, but it’s a bit bold for a regular fond and then whoever was in charge of pre-press approval totally missed the mark. There were a few lines where having center justified DIDN’T WORK:

Would it kill someone to check the spacing of the line? Just shifting “overstimulated” down one line would’ve made the line 100 times more legible. This happened a few times, but this was the most egregious instance.

Opening Line: “This book is for creative entrepreneurs who have a mission and a message to deliver to the world.”

Closing Line: “Wishing you a blessed life. Thank you for being here. Enjoy the journey.” (Not whited out as this is a work of nonfiction.)

*I received a copy of Get It Done from the publisher return for my honest opinion. No money or goods were exchanged.

Recommendation: It’s a pass for me. I feel like there are better ones out there with similar ideas. I also didn’t like the “attacking the world” mindset this book wanted you in. This one line, barely 1/3 of the way through the book really put me off: “If you want to be successful and happy, you must recognize the enemy clearly and win the WAR for your mind and your life.” (67) The book, and this section in particular seemed to be in antithesis to Mackintosh’s life style of meditation and relaxation, but perhaps that’s just my reading.

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