Getting Things Done Consists of Three Simple Steps

Wang Yip
2 min readFeb 2, 2022

Roger Fisher and Alan Sharp, authors of Getting it done, say that getting things done is a matter of three simple (though I didn’t say easy) steps:


Before taking on any activity, you plan and strategize what you are going to do. Do you know that logic puzzle about having a candle and a torch and what to light first? The answer is the match you are holding.

Without planning, you might be doing something that you don’t need to do.


One of the challenges with getting things done and taking time to plan is that people may spend all of their time planning. There’s no such thing as a perfect plan. You cannot possibly account for all of the things that will happen or go wrong. So instead of trying to plan and create contingencies, plan so that you have a direction and then take action.

Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to take action right away — some people like to go in with guns blazing but then realize they’ve entered a hospital and not the villain’s headquarters.


One key step and something that only seems to happen at the end of projects: reviewing what has been done, getting data on what has happened, and then using the above to prepare and act again.

Another key consideration: the people taking action usually have the best data to determine the next step. You might have teams where there’s management, who strategizes, and then there’s staff, who execute. A key part of getting things done is making sure that the people making decisions has all the relevant data they need.

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Wang Yip

Author of Essential Habits. I write about personal development, work and managing your career. Connect with me at