Manage Your Day-to-Day

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind is a compilation of essays and interviews of time and creativity gurus (people you’ve heard of like Gretchen Rubin, Seth Godin, and the like) about how to get hold of your day to maximize your productivity.

OK, you feel like you’ve read a million books on that topic.  Or at least a million reviews of that kind of book on my blog.  Maybe not a million, but close.  How is this book different?

  • It’s perfect for flex workers.  If you work on a contract, from home, part-time, or entrepreneurial basis, this book is for you.  When you’re setting your own schedule, work can spill over into everything and you really have to fight for your own creative space.  This book is geared toward people dealing with those challenges, and I think more and more of us are going to be working this way in the future, so these are good tips and habits to work on now.
  • It’s a good reminder to be the boss of your technology.  Are you in the habit of checking your email first thing?  Do you leave your email and Facebook open while you’re trying to get your other work done?  Is the internet taking up too much of your creative time, or are you successfully keeping it as your servant rather than your master?  These are all dangers to be aware of and another reminder never hurts.
  • It covers old standby topics in fresh ways.  Balancing your personal creative work with the creative work you get paid for, combatting perfectionism, saying no to good things to make room for best things…these are all topics with which we’re familiar.  But I appreciated how the essays in the book tackled these perennial favorites with new perspectives and insights.  For example, to find out where you’re indulging in perfectionism, check yourself for idealism, judgement, fear, and pride.  Sounds simple, but it’s amazingly helpful to nail yourself down on why you’re thinking or feeling a certain way on a given project.

Is Manage Your Day-to-Day a panacea of time/life management?  No.  But is it worth your time?  Yes, particularly if you’re in a creative line of work and work in a flexible way.  The book’s format lends itself to reading in short spurts – while you nurse the baby, when you’re waiting for the onions to brown, while you’re waiting for the client to join the conference call…and the essays are such that you can read them quickly but then benefit from digesting the information later.  I enjoyed it, and would recommend it.


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