Book Category: Creative, Motivational, Writing,

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series) (book summary)

Author: Jocelyn K. Glei
Life Changing Principles
Quality of Writing
Overall Value
pros: Fast, motivational, clear, fun
cons: Brief
overall rating


Jocelyn K. Glei brings together advice from some very, very productive and creative individuals in order to create a multi-faceted manual for becoming more productive. We loved the varied input and different (sometimes contradictory) perspectives from other creatives who have made time in their life to create Great American Novels and successful businesses, etc. More so than money, it’s time that often restricts or limit creativity. Time was the takeaway here; showing how it can best and most wisely be spent to reach an end goal. 


  • Break enormous tasks into small chunks that can be accomplished daily without a hassle.
  • Spend some time working “unplugged” from internet/phone/etc.
  • Prioritize daily creative habits versus when inspiration strikes.
  • Tackle the largest creative and work problems first thing in the morning, uninterrupted.
  • Uncover what triggers your best working environment.


  • Work manageable, short daily tasks into your schedule vs. trying to get a large task done all at once.
  • Try and set aside a time to write when you can’t see your phone/get notifications during a challenging project.
  • Consider taking a “day of rest” from devices, or at least, maybe a few hours on the weekend.


Manage Your Day-to-Day assembles insights around four key skill sets you must master to succeed: building a rock-solid daily routine, taming your tools (before they tame you), finding focus in a distracted world, and sharpening your creative mind.

My mantra has always been “It’s not about ideas, it’s about making ideas happen.”

When folks want to talk creativity, what they’re really seeking is help with execution.

The biggest problem we face today is “reactionary workflow.” We have started to live a life pecking away at the many inboxes around us, trying to stay afloat by responding and reacting to the latest thing: e-mail, text messages, tweets, and so on.

The single most important change you can make in your 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.

“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules.” -Anthony Trollope

When you work regularly, inspiration strikes regularly.

Establish “associative triggers” such as listening to the same music or arranging your desk in a certain way–that tell your mind it’s time to get down to work.

For activities that require conscious attention, there is really no such thing as multitasking, only task switching–the process of flicking the mind back and forth between different demands.

“Waiting for inspiration to write is like standing in the airport waiting for a train.” -Leigh Michaels

Creativity and efficiency can be enhanced over the course of a workday when workers alternate between mindful and mindless activities.

Unnecessary Creation gives you the freedom to explore new possibilities and follow impractical curiosities.