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Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (99U)




    September 23, 2018

    578 of 608 people found the following review helpful

    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Productivity Sound-Bites, May 13, 2013

    By Gadget Fan (Hesperian Tralfamador) –

    This review is from: Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (99U) (Paperback)

    Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What’s this?)

    Summary: There are a lot of very good strategies and recommendations which make this book worth reading, but the brevity and lack of in-depth treatment are frustrating, resulting in a book that is less than what it could be.

    This is a brief book with a number of contributors. Since there is no one answer for all people out there, hearing from a number of people their strategies for getting things accomplished is a nice change, compared to numerous single-author single-plan productivity books that are out there. However, there is some consistency of perspective, and some themes, such as reducing distractions, repeat across many contributors. You probably already know much of what is in here, but seeing the ways in which you are not maximizing your productivity in black and white (and red) brings them to the foreground where you cannot ignore them.

    From the description, I was expecting a longer book with more in-depth articles. There are some gems of observations and ideas here, but the contributions are unsatisfyingly brief. Most offer general strategies rather than specific helpful steps, many of which you already know (e.g. “Kill the background noise – Turn off your phone, email, …. “, the distinction between creative work and reactive work, etc.). It is not bad for what it is, but, as a fan of several of the contributors, I was hoping for so much more (ymmv), though I did find the book useful for honing my to-do lists. Most of them feel like brief excerpts from longer works. Just when an article gets going, I turn the page, and POOF !!, it is over.

    However, you can read this book as a collection of useful suggestions & observations, some of which will hit the spot for you, and some which will not. Since it is composed of a number of brief stand-alone articles (or possibly blog excerpts), after getting the overview by reading the Forward, you can pick it up and start reading anywhere as interested. There are a lot of really great observations here (e.g. most productive work is done in the morning, multitasking makes things take longer to accomplish, the power of habit and repetition, importance of mindfulness & quiet reflection, etc.), but you have to figure out how to compose your own action plan for any idea you want to incorporate into your life — it is not a step-by-step how-to book. And even though it is brief and general, there are really good observations here that will take time to absorb, so it is probably worth re-reading from time to time.

    At the end of each of the four sections, there is a summary page of “Key Takeaways” along with a link to an appropriate page on their 99U website. The summaries don’t really communicate the spark and usefulness of the articles they represent, but they do serve as useful reminders of what you have read. They are not in the table of contents, so you have to look for them.

    Be aware that the small pages of this brief book have plenty of white space, and there are many pages with artistically giant words. So the book is not that long, thus it won’t take a long time to read to harvest the suggestions that interest you.

    Though the final printing may be different, my edition is hard to open and flip through, because it is a small book with tight binding and stiff pages. It is a constant battle to hold it open while reading, and my r.s.i. hands don’t appreciate the continual muscle strain. If I want to underline something, it is hard to get the page to lay near-flat to do so. (Obviously this criticism applies only to the printed version.) [revised 6/2/13]


    September 23, 2018

    14 of 14 people found the following review helpful

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent fun book!, February 23, 2017

    By magicgirl (Philadelphia, PA) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    This review is from: Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (99U) (Paperback)

    I am picky about recommending books. This one is one I could recommend to anyone. Its is very insightful and useful. Its a quick read and is good for referencing when you need a pick-me-up when your routine drives you nuts. I highlighted a lot of this book. It also has wonderful quotes. The size of the book makes it easy to carry around anywhere. The font is a good size too. It is a quick read. But pace yourself because it has a lot of good information, that you need to absorb. This could even be a good book as a gift to someone. This book is a keeper in my book collection. I will probably keep this near my desk to glance at.


    September 23, 2018

    20 of 20 people found the following review helpful

    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Nothing particularly new, but still a great read, September 20, 2013

    By Fiona Leonard (Accra, Ghana) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    This review is from: Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (99U) (Kindle Edition)

    There is nothing earth shatteringly new in Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind but it is a great read. A collection of short essays from twenty leading creative minds, it will remind you of all the things you’ve read over the years about good creative practice and it will give you the reasons behind why you should make the changes you know you need to make. And it will give you some insights into why some of your current behavioural practises leave you feeling the way you do. I read it as part of a comprehensive overhaul of all aspects of my life. I took notes, I highlighted, I reread and I started making the changes. And bit by bit I’m beginning to feel like I’m rediscovering what I experienced in my week away.

    For me it’s not about finding a way to “get the work done”, it’s about finding the space to revel in doing what I love. When that happens, the work gets done and done well.

    If you want to live a different way AND you are in a headspace where you’re already committed to making the changes needed, then buy this book. It will inspire and give you some great food for thought to help you on your way. If you’re not, don’t bother. It’s not a magic wand and it won’t make a shred of difference.

    But I urge you to bother, to care, to take the leap, because it really, really is worth it.

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