Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

by Jocelyn K. Glei

This is a great little book that will help you deal with the new challenges of a 24/7, always-on workplace. As you begin looking at regaining control over your work and family life, this book takes the best, most inspiring short pieces from 21 leading writers. I assure you that you will find support for whatever creative idea you are looking to take on.

Manage Your Day-to-Day will give you a toolkit for tackling your biggest challenges. Sample supporting statements include the following:

Laying the Groundwork for an Effective Routine

“If you want to create something worthwhile with your life, you need to draw a line between the world’s demands and your own ambitions. Yes, we all have bills to pay and obligations to satisfy. But for most of us there’s a wide gray area between the haves-tos and want tos in our lives. If you’re not careful, that area will fill up with email, meetings, and the requests of others, leaving no room for the work you consider important.”

By Mark McGuinness author of

Resilience: Facing down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success

Making Room for Solitude

In 1845, Henry David Thoreau set out for the woods near Walden Pond to find solitude, for his thoughts and his writing. He wanted to get away from the business and noise of nineteenth-century city life.

Thoreau wrote, “I went to the woods because I wish to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discovered that I had not lived.”

Leo Babauta, author of the best-selling book Focus, the Power of Less to writes that today, it is essential that we find solitude so that we can learn what it has to teach us, so that we can find the quiet to listen to our inner voice, and so that we may find the space to truly focus and create.

Leo Babauta author of

Focus, the Power of Less

The Power of Daily Focus Blocks

Cal Newport is a writer and a professor at Georgetown University. His most recent book is, So Good They Can’t Ignore You. He defines Daily Focus Blocks as a method of leveraging the well-understood concept of a pre-scheduled appointment. He has you blocking off a substantial chunk of time, most days of the week, for applying sustained focus to your most important creative tasks. The key twist is that you mark this time on your calendar like any other meeting.

Blocking off time for uninterrupted focus, however, is only half the battle. The other half is resisting distraction. This means no email, no Internet, no phone. This sounds easy in theory, but can be surprisingly hard to embrace in practice. If you’ve been immersed in distraction for years, you need to train yourself before you can work for long periods without it. He identifies three tips to start with:

  • Start with small blocks of focus time and then gradually work yourself up to longer durations.
  • Tackle a clearly identified and isolated task.
  • Consider using a different location for these blocks.


Behance, is a leading online platform to showcase and discover creative work. Their mission is to empower the creative world. As an extension of their mission, they created 99U to foster new research and education on best practices for making ideas happen. Taking stock of this challenging new landscape, 99U’s Manager Your Day-to-Day assembles insights around for key skill sets you must master to succeed: building a rock-solid daily routine, taming your tools (before they team you), finding focus in a distracted world, and sharpening your creative mind.