Read It If:
- you are a self-help junkie
- you enjoy Hardwick’s humor
- you want a way to turn your life into a game of D&D
Skip It If:
- you are turned off by self-help ideas that, while they work, sound hokey
- you are annoyed by frequent references to nerd things, sometimes just for the sake of referencing nerd things
- you are not ok with the idea of a self-help book swearing
I’m going to get this out into the open from the very begininning: I picked up The Nerdist Way for the first time years ago because I have a big ol’ crush on Chris Hardwick. There. I was honest with you. With that out of the way, you can decide whether my affection-colored review is worth listening to or not, but I promise, I’ll stay objective as I can.
In a nutshell, The Nerdist Way is a self-help book that doesn’t take itself seriously. Hardwick is, first and foremost, a comedian, and this shows in his writing. But he also knows how to get things done. Just look him up and you’ll see that this is a guy with a lot on his plate. It’s mind-boggling how much stuff he has worked on in some capacity. With a schedule that full, you know he’s got a good system going.
And he does. The book is chock-full of good advice and practical tips for getting your life together. The best part is, Hardwick is good at easing you in to the system, because he wasn’t always the productivity master that he has become. In fact, he was a bit of a mess. (Sorry, dude, but you DO mention it yourself.) Because of this past, the book never comes across as “judgey” like some other self-help books tend to do.
Hardwick breaks the book down into three main parts, each of which is an area of focus: Mind, Body, and Time.
- controlling anxiety
- improving the relationship between you and your thoughts
- managing addictive behaviors
- improving self-confidence
- starting a basic exercise routine
- how to use incremental progress to fuel big life changes
- being kind to your body when it needs it
- the importance of tracking time
- various productivity systems out in the world
- how to mish-mash systems to make one that works for you
The only fault of the book, to me, is the frequency with which various nerdy things are referenced. I’m super into a lot of the things Hardwick talks about, but sometimes it felt like references were being dropped just to be dropped. But, I was able to look past that because of the great advice presented in a friendly, non-threatening way.