Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
By Jocelyn K. Glei (Editor)
Manage Your Day To Day is a book whose full title functions very nicely as a summary sentence for the book. You might as well summarize the book this way, “Manage Your Day To Day is a book which teaches you to manage your day-to-day by helping you building your routine, find your focus, and sharpen your creative mind.” The rest of the book is similarly efficient and direct in its communication.
The book comes from the 99u, and is a compilation of writings from 20 different writers/thinkers. Each contributor provides either a chapter or there’s a transcript of an interview with them. Each chapter provides a single idea with practical applications for implementation. The chapters are organized into five sections, and each section ends with a summary of the main ideas
The five sections:
- Building a rock solid routine
- Finding focus in a distracted world
- Taming your tools
- Sharpening your creative mind
- A call to action
As you can see from the five sections, the title of the book really is a summary of the content. Overall, I enjoyed the book and its format. However, the format did lead to the book’s biggest faults.
When it comes to books which deal with simple and practical subjects, I prefer them to be swift and to the point. Some subjects are straightforward enough that they don’t need excessive explanation. This book gets that!
Each chapter deals with a single idea. The idea is introduced, explained, and applications are given all in under ten pages. For this type of book, that is exactly what I want and need.
Take the first section for example: Build a Rock Solid Routine.
- Chapter 1 is on forming a daily routine
- Chapter 2 is on the importance of frequency when it comes to creativity.
- Chapter 3 is an interview on honing your creative skills.
- Chapter 4 is on building rest and renewal into your daily routine.
- Chapter 5 is on building solitude into your schedule.
These five chapters take up less than 40 pages. Each tackles a simple idea on organizing your day-to-day, and presents its idea efficiently. The end results of this book structure is that, once finished with the book, you can easily mark which chapters would be most helpful for you, and you can go back and reread them. The format drastically increases the likelihood that you (and by you, I mean I) will actually do something with the information in the book.
Likewise, I really like the look and design of the book. The cover and inside design use color and formatting to create an aesthetically pleasing look. The chapters are formatted heavily to make it a quick read where it’s easy to see the main point. For a book which focusses so heavily on practical advice, this makes it easy to find helpful sections. Even with the paperback version, the front and back covers have flaps that can be used as bookmarks.
The biggest problem with the book is repetition. Since the book was written by 20 different authors, I suspect there was little actual collaboration between them. They were assigned or chose a subject, and then they wrote their chapter. Unfortunately, this means that multiple authors repeated similar themes or applications.
The biggest topical offender is email. It seems like every other chapter makes similar statements about email. It’s not that any single statement about email is bad, but they keep beating the same drum. Your daily routine should start with creativity, not email. Checking your email breaks your focus. The thrill of successfully emptying your email inbox is a cheap substitute for the thrill of creating something original. The lists of email applications goes on and on. But really, the big takeaway should be: don’t let the urgency of email distract you from the importance of creativity.
The book is a quick read with many great applications. Not every chapter will be applicable to what you need, but certainly you will find something useful in the book. I would have liked the book more if the editor could have found a way to limit some of the repetition a bit more.
Worth buying at a discounted price!
At the time of the writing of this review, the book is only $6.99 for the paperback at Amazon, or $4.89 on Audible. If you’re looking for help managing your day-to-day, I would recommend picking up this book at this price.
Get it here: Manage Your Day-to-Day
Narrated By: Fred Stella, Laural Merlington
Are you overextended, over-distracted, and overwhelmed? Do you work at a breakneck pace all day, only to find that you haven’t accomplished the most important things on your agenda by the time you leave the office?
The world has changed and the way we work has to change, too. Manage Your Day-to-Day will give you a toolkit for tackling the challenges of a 24/7, always-on workplace. We’ll show you how to build a rock-solid daily routine, field a constant barrage of messages, find focus amid chaos, and carve out the time you need to do the work that matters.”
- Scott Belsky
- Mark McGuinness
- Gretchen Rubin
- Seth Godin
- Tony Schwartz
- Leo Babauta
- Cal Newport
- Christian Jarrett
- Dan Ariel
- Erin Rooney Doland
- Aaron Dignan
- Lori Deschene
- Tiffany Shlain
- Linda Stone
- James Victore
- Todd Henry
- Scott McDowell
- Stefan Sagmeister
- Elizabeth Grace Saunders
- Steven Pressfield