Most entrepreneurs I know struggle to manage their workloads – if you’ve ever missed an appointment, constantly finding yourself fighting against that email inbox taking over your whole life or dealing with that never ending to-do list, you’d know what I mean. The incessant, tough demands of both work and personal lives can take an especially heavy toll on those of us who just aren’t too good at managing our time and dealing with the nitty-gritty.
Here’s where “Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind” – part of the 99U Series by talent management platform Behance – comes in to save the day. The tiny tome contains wise advice for using your time wisely and making your best work from 20 leading creative minds of our time, such as the likes of prolific author and marketing guru Seth Godin, Tony Schwarz of The Energy Project and author of “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance“, designer and author of “Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far” Stefan Sagmeister, and Dan Ariely author of “Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions“.
Despite the title of the book, “Manage Your Day-to-Day” isn’t exactly the kind of self-help book that provides you various checklists to build your life around. Instead, these notable greats in many instances reveal their own methods of digging deep into their psyche and inner selves – emotionally, psychologically and even physically – to spur them forward to complete tasks and do their best work.
You know the concept of paying yourself first in personal finance and money management, where you regularly and consistently set aside a certain sum of money for investment or saving purposes? Well it so happens this concept works very well for managing your day-to-day tasks as well. In the book, Mark McGuinness, author of “Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success“, argues that the single most important change a person can make in their working habits is to switch to creative work first, reactive work second. “This means blocking off a large chunk of time every day for creative work on your own priorities, with the phone and e-mail off,” he writes. McGuinness adds it is how he always gets his most important work done, and attributes much of his biggest successes to this change.
And author and marketing guru Seth Godin obviously agrees. “The strategy is to have a practice, and what it means to have a practice is to regularly and reliably do the work in a habitual way,” Godin explains. This has been, for me, the biggest takeaway from the book.
As previously mentioned, the petite-sized “Manage Your Day-to-Day” won’t take you more than a day to read, but the advice contained within is likely to save you weeks in gained productivity and effectiveness. And it’s a steal at US$4.99 on Kindle.