Entertainment Book Reviews

Sunday 21 September 2014

World domination one tweet at a time

Get Sh*t Done!
Niall Harbison
Penguin
€11.99

Published 17/08/2014 | 00:00

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Niall Harbison
Niall Harbison
Get Sh*t Done!

With hindsight tech-entrepreneur, Niall Harbison's guide to getting the life you want may not have been the best book choice for my holiday. Every time I sat down with a glass of wine to have a read, it felt like Harbison's voice was buzzing in my ear, berating me for not being more productive.

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Harbison, on the other hand, has been very productive, packing a lot into his, as he humbly puts it, "remarkable life". Variously he has been a head chef, an alcoholic, a CEO and co-founder of a global online media platform, a dog lover and a persistent presence on social media. Harbison repeatedly makes the point that he had no formal education and dismisses higher learning in that irritating, ignorant way of people who skipped the degree in favour of life experience.

Harbison is one of the loudest voices in Irish social media with his blog, Lovin' Dublin. He is hyper-aware of the importance of brand identity and uses strange Americanisms like 'neat' and 'dating' in the book undoubtedly with an eye on the American market. Actually this was what made me start to quite like him. He is open and unapologetic about his lofty ambitions (he embarked on the American book tour this week with just one main objective: to get on the Daily Show).

I liked Harbo's approach to work as something we can do from anywhere and with his life-hacks he shows how we can manage the work/life balance. One example of this was composing a whole chapter of the book on his smart phone. He goes into further unnecessary detail of where he did a lot of that composing - we call that getting shit done on many levels.

There will always be a sneering contingent ready to mock Harbo's slightly bombastic rhetoric but the more I read the more I found myself rooting for him. He is a lateral thinker and what's more he thinks big. He sets the impossible target reasoning that if he can't quite hit the mark he'll achieve a lot in the trying.

Right now I am engaged in a bit of Harbo-inspired multitasking, writing these words on the bus home from my summer hols. I feel he would be proud.

Sophie White

Sunday Independent

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