How to Get Things Done

How to get things done begins in your mind. The minute you decide to act as if the thing you want to get done has been accomplished, you become a winner at work and in your personal life. This mindset is based on a simple premise: If one person can do something, you can also do it by studying how that person achieved the task.

To learn about what you need to know in order to accomplish what you want to do, find somebody who has done the thing you have in mind. Ask your contact, “How did you do it?” This is an exciting concept because it’s how you can learn to do just about anything as you learned how to drive a car. That’s how to get things done.

I first heard about his idea from the late Saul Gruner, one of the granddaddy’s of career counseling in America. “You don’t necessarily have to spend lots of time learning something,” said Saul. “You can often learn how to do a task in ten minutes by looking over somebody’s shoulder.” The method of watching someone and imitating her has been around for a long time. It even has a psychological name: “observational learning,” and non-psychological names of “shadowing” and “modeling.”

Whatever you choose to call it, getting things done by watching another person do it is a powerful learning tool. If you’ve gotten something done by observing from others, please share your experience in the “comments” box.

Copyright © 2015 by Ransom Place

About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.