Book Review on: "Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind" by 99U

I recently received a great book as a gift. I'm not one that likes reading fiction. But non-fiction, especially with short, structured chapters is always a winner for me because I can read a chapter during my limited spare time and if I set the book down, next time I pick it up, I can read a different chapter and they are separate enough that I don't have to read them in order or remember details from the previous time. It's called "Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind". I really liked the concise chapters all written by a different person so instead of a book all filled with one person's perspective, I got to read diverse yet similar thoughts across 21 different "visionary creatives" or people who think outside the box and like to write about it. Granted, the title isn't overly catchy and initially I thought this was a time management book, but as I got into it, I found interesting perspectives on how technology and social media has made it difficult to make the time to be creative and generate new ideas. My takeaway is that there is so much input and distractions from media and day-to-day responsibilities that if you don't fight for your own space in your daily schedule, it will easily get filled by other things. In years from now, those other things won't matter. But if you took the time to fill that distracted time with focused time on creative ideas, you could end up in years from now with something that you personally created whether that be business-focused like a new company or website, or art-focused like a new sculpture or painting. Only you can protect your time in order to have the time to do the creative things you love. This book gives you some ideas on how to do this, how to be efficient, and how to have better awareness of how technology has crept into our personal time.

I always enjoy seeing tips-of-the-day or profound sayings that make you think. This book is filled with them and they are good. I'm not one to add a saying to my auto-signature in email, but if I were, it would be one from this book. Here are a few of my favorites:

"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it." by Lena Horne
"What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention." by Herbert Simon (renowned social scientist in 1971)
"The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say 'no' to almost everything." by Warren Buffett, I can see this relating to how to protect your personal time.
"You can do anything, but not everything." by David Allen
"Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer." by William S. Burroughs
"Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of success is showing up. Having written and directed fifty films in almost as many years, Allen clearly knows something about accomplishment. How, when, and where you show up is the single most important factor in executing on your ideas."

I found the chapter written by Scott Belsky to be the most interesting to me. Scott also wrote the foreword and is the co-creator of Behance, Inc. In his chapter, he touches upon serendipity and how putting down our phones in order to experience chance encounters with others may cause a relationship to be formed that could lead to a successful outcome. He states "The greatest value of any experience is often found in its seams". Now, as I run errands or go between meetings at work, I don't look at my phone but instead talk to people and see who I may run into that can help me move forward in an area and be successful. It's the small things like this that may have the biggest impact in my career.

I have never written a book review for my blog, but I get a lot of questions from my coworkers on what leadership books I find interesting. So although this isn't specifically a leadership book, I did find it full of helpful tips to manage my time and my career better so I thought it was worth sharing. I would recommend this book to anyone trying to find ways to be creative because it goes beyond time management and explains how others find different ways to give themselves enough time in their busy schedules to focus on being creative and achieving results. You may find that one of these ways works for you!

Please let me know if you found this book review helpful.