Sarah Knight’s Get Your Shit Together is easy enough to understand, and entertaining enough to get through. The chapters aren’t long, and not overly pedantic, which is always a good thing. I appreciate a good speed read and this book qualifies. It doesn’t bore, doesn’t linger, and doesn’t drag. Now, usually I go right into another book after finishing a book without giving little thought to it. Not this time. I thought why not throw my words on the page, think about it for a minute, and then off to the next book (which is in this case is a library book and so far, is far slower, and less entertaining then this read). So before I get back to some Be an Entrepreneur In Your Underwear bullshit book, I am going to take a moment and share some words about Get Your Shit Together.
Yes, another swear-heavy, no holds-barred, no-fucks-given self-help book. (Which I can appreciate. I do like an author who speaks to me.) From the get go, Sarah reminds us that yeah, these profanity-laced-help-yourself books are all the rage, and yes, this is just another one of those titles. But this one, though not special, is not not special. Sarah manages to take the get-your-shit-together-genre and throw in some pop culture references, and some simple get out of your own way, get going, cut the shit techniques to well, get out of your own way, get going and cut the shit. And she does it bluntly with honesty, and humor, and for that, this book is pretty solid.
So, some of the gems from the book that I found helpful.
• The break down step by step “how to get your shit together flow chart”, very helpful.
• The GYST Bingo at the end of the book, very helpful.
• The IRA Chart (which could motivate me to save a dime or two) Very very helpful.
• The Chipmunk theory, helpful. (I am a little bit of Theodore, a wee bit Simon and wish I was a little more Alvin.)
• Also, this writer is quick with the puns and one-liners, which I appreciated.
• The idea of keeping your Metaphorical Wallet, Keys, and Phone and breaking down things into small manageable chunks, also helpful.
• It’s also good to be reminded that being selfish is okay, if that selfishness makes you a better employee, partner, dad or mom, brother, whatever. Helpful.
• Also, being a writer, (poet, actually) I was inspired by Get Your Shit Together. Thus, I will flex my writing chops and try out this 500 word-a-day diet, and maybe just maybe put something together myself (that’s not poetry).
• I appreciated the not-so-new (yet widely needed in my life) idea of not being afraid of failure. (I was rejected the other day from a publishing company and it stung. Took a week or two but I am over it and ready to try again. For me I am learning, it’s important to not be afraid of rejection, because there is no advancing without rejection. I don’t think it’s possible to not be rejected).
• I appreciated Sarah’s personal reflection at the end of the book, of how hard it was to write this book for her, how to achieve her daily word count, and a move to the Caribbean at the same time. I admire Sarah, that she took such a risk. To fulfill her dreams, she really had to bust her ass.
Jason’s Breakdown: Insightful, easy to understand, and a good modern day, help-yourself, get–out-of-your-own-way, get-on-with-your-life, and simple, brass tacks, gentle slap in the face to GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.
Why just 3.5? I appreciated the story, appreciated the illustrations, appreciated her humor, but could have used more techniques. (By the way, if you want to learn some tricks, check out the book Make Time which really blew my socks off, and I still use its easy to follow time management techniques, lasering and etc.) Or you could read Pema Chodron or something. But if you are looking for a get-off-your-ass-and-do-something book that doesn’t take itself too seriously, that is packed with humor, one-liners, and a wee bit of self-helpery, give it a whirl. I mean, why not, right? It’s the New Year. What better time to get your shit together?
Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His new book is Train of Thought.