Book Review – Overcome and Get It Done by Jamie Dixon

Overcome and get it doneOvercome and Get It Done by Jamie Dixon is a small book that you can read in one sitting. I read it in a day and I was more inspired by the author’s story. Jamie wrote the book in 24 hours. Not bad for a book with 59 pages with 24 chapters. More on that, the 24 chapters are bite-sized but contain some really good lessons. I have given a very top-level review of each chapter below.

CHAPTER ONE – THE PLEASURE PAIN PRINCIPLE

This chapter describes the two sources of motivation which are approaching pleasure or avoiding pain. Jamie describes the approaching pleasure motivation as approaching pleasure in the presence and avoiding pain. The second one is about going through pain in the present for future pleasure. These two types of motivations are constantly in conflict with each other and the big question is, how will we balance that conflict?

CHAPTER TWO – MAKE THE FUTURE INFLUENCE THE PRESENT

Here’s a quote:

“Our Future motivations must be strong enough to influence our Present motivations if we are to be motivated to take purposeful actions in the present.”

What does this mean? What you want to achieve in the future must be so important that it generates in you a strong motivation in the presence to take action.

CHAPTER THREE – USE WILLPOWER SPARINGLY

According to Jamie, willpower is the force we use to resist our present motivations.

It’s about forcing yourself to do or not do something and Jamie uses an interesting elephant and rider metaphor to illustrate how tough using willpower can be. Jamie’s conclusion is that we should rely more on motivation to get things done rather than willpower.

CHAPTER FOUR – CONNECT WITH YOUR UNCONSCIOUS

Use a key question to get yourself thinking about your motivations. That question is, What am I doing this for? Whatever you are doing, ask yourself that question. It will help you think about your motivations for doing what you are doing.

CHAPTER FIVE – OVERCOME YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

“Limiting beliefs are basically the beliefs we hold about the way the world works that create problems for us.”

Jamie says that beliefs create behaviour. This implies that limiting beliefs will create in us limiting behaviour. Four steps to address limiting beliefs are presented here:

  1. Step 1 – What problems am I facing right now? Problems are normally an indication of limiting beliefs so identify your problems as they may be linked to your beliefs.
  2. Step 2 – What limiting beliefs may have caused the problems? If you have identified the problems, start digging into the kind of beliefs that may have led to them. Jamie shares an example as follows, If I have too much work, it’s probably because of my belief that I cannot say “No”.
  3. Step 3 – Redefine those limiting beliefs into success beliefs. Change the ‘I cannot’ to ‘I can’. Redefine the limiting belief to move you forward and not to hold you back.
  4. Step 4 – Imagine and practice new behaviours that align with the redefined success beliefs.

CHAPTER SIX – PLANT SEEDS

Do little things now which grow into big things tomorrow. Plant the seeds today for the future you desire tomorrow. This links to the two types of motivation. Go through a level of pain today that attracts the pleasure you need tomorrow. According to Jamie, seeds can be planted in simple ways such as having a conversation and writing things down. These seeds of course grow into ideas that can go on to become great things.

CHAPTER SEVEN – VISUALISE IDEAS BROUGHT TO LIFE

Ideas exist only in our mind. The amazing thing about our mind is that we can use our imagination to create things that have never existed.

The advice here is for us to use our senses through visualisation to bring our ideas to life. According to Jamie:

If you want to bring your ideas to life then start by using your library of sensory representations to imagine what this idea will be like. Visualise your ideas brought to life.

CHAPTER EIGHT – MAKE HARD THINGS EASY

There is some interesting stuff here. How can we make things easier, especially if they are about goals that seem overwhelming? The answer is to start with baby steps. Start with actions that are not painful and keep growing from there. For example, if your goal is to get fitter through exercise, don’t start with 60-minutes, you will inevitably fail and get frustrated. Start with 5-minutes and grow from there. According to Jamie:

Baby steps require no pain whatsoever, and they’re not even painful to think about. Further more, if each baby step has a reward, even if the reward of knowing that you’ve just got a lot closer to your overall goal, then we super like those kinds of baby steps.

He also writes that:

To bring your new idea to life, whatever it may be, probably involves quite a lot of steps, The smaller you can make each of those steps, the faster you will accomplish it.

CHAPTER NINE – CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY

Jamie writes that:

Accountability is a great way of manipulating your own manipulation.

Create accountability that pushes you to work towards your goals. You can do this by inviting other people to provide you with pleasures to seek by rewarding you when you achieve what you said you would do and pains to avoid by inflicting some form of punishment when you don’t. Find accountability partners that you can set up this kind of agreement with to boost your motivation.

CHAPTER TEN – BE THE ARCHITECT OF YOUR OWN SUFFERING

Intentionally put yourself through sacrifices or as Jamie puts it suffering to achieve what you want. For instance start learning new skills and retraining yourself now, don’t wait till you are made redundant because your current skills are not needed anymore. Don’t get too comfortable with where you are, disrupt yourself and keep developing and learning. That is painful today but pleasurable tomorrow.

In life there is suffering. You can either wait for it to happen to you, or create it on your own terms. I prefer the latter.

CHAPTER ELEVEN – YOUR JOB IS ALWAYS TO SERVE

As opposed to the thinking that we are highly competitive people, we are more of a cooperative species, Jamie writes. In order for us to get what we want, we all serve each other in one way or the other. Jamie states that, Money does not make the world go round. Cooperation does. So find what you do well and serve others with it. According to Jamie:

The key is to realise that your job is always to serve other people, no matter what you do.

He also writes that:

Your job is not to follow orders. It’s not to meet the required standards. It’s not to tick boxes. It’s to serve people.

I also like this quote:

It is the people who get clear on who they are serving, and find ways of serving them better, that get the best opportunities in life.

CHAPTER TWELVE – PERFECTIONISM IS ARROGANCE

When it comes to serving other people, our own standards don’t really matter. It’s the standards of the people we serve that matter.

We should support others according to their own standards and not our own. Also, when we do things we should not let a perfectionist mindset hold us back.

When we use our own self-doubts to stop ourselves from sharing our creative work with the rest of the world, we’re making it about us, when it should be about them.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN – SURF THE WAVES OF MOTIVATION

Motivation is not constant, it can change from time to time. It’s important for us to observe our own motivation cycles to understand when our motivation is at its highest so we can get things done.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN – THINKING BREEDS INACTION

There is a time to think but at some point you’ve got to act. Stop overthinking things and take action otherwise you won’t do anything.

Because as we think, we give room for our limiting beliefs, for our self-critic, for doubts to plant their seeds and grow strong. We start to doubt ourselves, we start to question what we’re doing, we start to consider what else we should be doing. All of this breeds inaction.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN – SACRIFICE

Getting things done, is actually a lot more about choosing what not to get done. 

Most people have too many commitments in this modern world. Our minds simply can’t cope with that. We have to focus on the essential and sacrifice the non-essential to be productive.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN – BATCH PROCESSING

Batch processing is where we process just one type of task in a set period of time.

Focus on just one type of task at a time. You should schedule related tasks to specific periods and do them. That way you are not switch-tasking.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN – OUTSOURCE

We can’t do everything. Where possible we should outsource what we don’t want to do so we can focus on what we want to do.

The goal is simply to outsource what we don’t want to do, so that we can focus more on what we want to do. And ideally, we outsource in a way that motivates the other person as much as possible.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN – FIND YOUR TOOL

Find the right tool to help you get things done. For instance, Jamie uses Scrivener for writing and editing the books he writes instead of struggling through Microsoft Word. Finding the right tools can make us more effective and according to Jamie:

Tools help us do things we couldn’t do before, like how airplanes enable us to fly across continents and oceans, which we literally could not do before they existed.

CHAPTER NINETEEN – ALWAYS START SMALL

Does a task seem too big or overwhelming for you? Break it down into small steps and concentrate on one small step at a time. Jamie puts it this way:

Never start big. Always start small. Remember, people don’t do big things. We do tiny things. But a lot of tiny things, eventually lead to big things.

CHAPTER TWENTY – BUILD A WALL

To focus on what you need to do, build walls around you that banish distractions. Walls in this sense are things you intentionally do to prevent distractions so you can focus. Building these types of walls may require you to communicate with people and prepare. For example, Jamie builds his walls by going off to places where he can be alone to work undisturbed.

CHAPTER TWENTY ONE – FIND THE RIGHT CONSTRAINTS

Create constraints that help you to be more productive and creative. Constraints allows you to set limits so you can focus on the work. For example, if you are writing you can put constraints on word count per chapter and focus on reaching that word count. Or when designing you can set constraints for the amount of colours to use so you are not constantly changing your mind. Constraints like this help you to apply discipline to your work.

Before you start any creative project, decide on the constraints of this project. You only need to decide on the constraints ONCE. You only need to apply your creative energy to designing these constraints ONCE. And then with those constraints in place, you can now direct all your creative energy to bringing your idea to life.

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO – REST, FUEL AND MOVE

The message here is simple, to be productive, you need to rest and take care of yourself. That includes eating well, exercising and making sure you rest adequately.

You have a body, whether you like it or not. If you don’t take care of it, it won’t take care of you.

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO – REST, FUEL AND MOVE

The message here is simple, to be productive, you need to rest and take care of yourself. That includes eating well, exercising and making sure you rest adequately.

You have a body, whether you like it or not. If you don’t take care of it, it won’t take care of you.

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR – PERFECTION IS A PROCESS

Jamie writes that, “perfection is never the outcome, Perfection is a process”. I like that. Also, remember that, done is better than perfect. Concentrate on getting things done and learning along the way. Don’t let the urge to be perfect prevent you from acting. Or as Jamie put it:

Don’t let perfection become the enemy of good.

That’s it, twenty-four mini-chapters which contain some useful advice. You can’t lose reading this book. It’s small and a lot of the advice is practical. You are sure to pick up one or two things you can use.