How to Get Things Done Without Trying Too Hard, 2nd edition

By Richard Templar
December 2011
Prentice Hall / Pearson Education
Distributed by the Trans-Atlantic Publications
ISBN: 9780273751106
212 Pages, Illustrated
$29.50 Paper original

In this clever book, bestselling author Richard Templar delivers a collection of principles, tactics and techniques that will make sure things always get done, without you ever having to break a sweat or stay up into the small hours to do it.

These pithy, self-contained ideas are so straightforward that you can even read the book itself without trying too hard.


You can and you can’t

You have to want to be organised

You don’t have to change your personality

Know yourself

Make time

Have a routine

Don’t tell yourself you’re bored

Don’t get distracted

Think about what you’re not thinking about

Don’t panic!

Do it little and often

Think positive

Steer clear of time sappers

Know when the good times are

Do the scary jobs

Set yourself limits

Invest now, save later

Don’t do too much

Don’t waste your down time

Be reliable

Don’t wait for people to change

Write lists

Get off to a flying start

Visualise the finished thing

Have less

Sort it or bin it

Ditch the eco-guilt

Have a packing list

Get into good habits

Have a place for it

File your week

Keep a notebook

Count your bags

Streamline your workload

Streamline your movements


Build up a stockpile

Double up

Turn your toothbrush upside down

Pin a note on the door

Be decisive about mess

Learn how to tidy

Get the kids working

Don’t do it yourself

Give false deadlines

Use a two-bin system

Have a shopping list

Read faster

Keep time

Get ahead of yourself

Remember birthdays

Make technology work for you

Get Christmas wrapped up

Treat yourself

Find a sixpence

Be decisive

Lay the groundwork first

Talk it through

When you have to decide, do it

Toss a coin

Tell everyone what you’ve decided

Hone your people skills

Be assertive

Learn to say no

Stand your ground

Understand thick skins

Say what you mean

Keep calm

Count to ten

See their point of view

Feed it back

Learn to delegate

Know who's doing what

Get the best out of people

Know what really matters


Know what is urgent (and what isn’t)

Organise your to-do list

Clear some downtime

Plan your life

Don’t just firefight

Have a thorough diary

Know what makes a difference

Get organised at work

Know where you’re going

Know what you’re doing

First you must push the wheelbarrow and then you can sit down

Don’t work a week behind

Deal with it when it happens

Don’t do things twice

Organise your space

Don’t read things you don’t need to

Keep it together

Make sure the boomerang comes back

Keep your meetings on time

Know what you’re aiming for

Avoid unnecessary meetings

Don’t get interrupted

Don’t get caught by the phone

Choose between email and phone

Reduce your inbox

Ditch the ping

Stop playing games

Get it over with

Don’t give up

Return to main page of Trans-Atlantic Publications