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Book Review: ‘The Power to Get Things Done’ by Steve Levinson & Chris Cooper

The Power to Get Things Done: About the Book

One of the reasons many people pick up a book like this is to consider new approaches to time management. The Power to Get Things Done tackles a tough problem that many people struggle with, time. However, the authors, Steve Levinson, and Chris Cooper look to consider it in a different way. They explain the necessity, or more specifically, the ‘follow-through’ that enable us to be successful and get things done.

A cover of a book The Power to get things done whenever you feel like it or not by Steve Levinson, PHD and Chris Cooper

The Power To Get Things Done (Whether You Feel Like It or Not) by Steve Levinson, PHD, and Chris Cooper

In part one, the first thing the authors do is let you, the reader, off the hook. They explain that, typically, our intentions are not hardwired to our behaviour.  In fact, we learn that not many people’s are! An interesting concept that explores the term ‘outliers’, usually attributed to Malcolm Gladwell’s book of the same name. This gives the reader a feeling of vindication. Meanwhile, you know that despite having the power, getting things done will be hard work and change is inevitably required.

The Power to Get Things Done Gives You Time to Reflect

Levinson and Cooper de-mystify the notion of planning tasks. They ask you to reflect on what really is important to you. This becomes prevalent in chapter three which focusses on business owners, albeit not exclusively.  This is a serious chapter. It asks you to reflect on not achieving those critical tasks such as tax returns and sales calls. Those crucial elements that as an employee, for instance, would normally just be day-to-day annoyances. However, now, they have become critical to your success.

Echoes of Coaching

The authors clearly explain in the opening that this is not a ‘read in one go’ book. Not many management books are. Alongside this, it advises how to use the book for maximum effect. For instance, by introducing chapter-end questions for reflection.  This is not a self-help book. It doesn’t tell but asks you to reflect, plan and change your mindset. In many ways, very similar to coaching.  Mindset changes from ‘could’ and ‘should’, for example, to making a solid plan, are the backbone of this book – and it works!

30:10:5 Reading Rule Explained

30 minutes read, 10 minutes write about what you learnt, 5 minutes teaching someone else

Powerful and Thoughtful

In The Power to Get Things Done, Levinson and Cooper use simple yet effective language to get their messages across.  Breaking down mental barriers into small mindset changes that ask you to change your approach or fail.  I picked up this book with an open mind and glad I did.
The authors come across as honest, they write well, and, most importantly, make valid points.  Moreover, they take the old notion of time management, change the landscape and place a contemporary viewpoint on it.  Powerful in its analogies and examples, thoughtful in its everyday application, this is a book worth keeping to hand.  A great read with positive intentions.


For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Time Management Skills and our Time Management Skills YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Time Management Skills Tips and articles.

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