Manage Your Day-to-Day is not your typical “productivity” book. Based on our 5+ years of research here at 99U, we proceeded from a handful of counter-intuitive premises about what works—and doesn’t work—for creative professionals as we crafted this book:
Premise #1 – We aren’t just managers, we’re makers.
Most books about time management or productivity are targeted at managers, not makers. But everyone who has a creative career these days is both a manager and a maker. And playing both roles presents some unique challenges.
Those of us who make creative work on a daily basis need time and space to think deeply and for extended periods of time. These are the moments when we find flow and make real, productive progress on our creative endeavors.
The challenge of this type of work is that interruptions can be highly destructive. And we now work in an era where we can easily spend our entire day ricocheting from one interruption to the next: email, texts, tweets, client requests, etc, etc.
In Manage Your Day-to-Day, we address the specific challenges that this 21st-century influx of information presents for creative professionals, and offer solutions for how to build a daily routine, maintain focus amidst a constant stream of distractions, and keep your creative mind (and work) fresh.
Premise #2 – There is no silver bullet for productivity.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working with and interviewing creatives for over a decade, it’s that they hate rules. Interestingly, the majority of books that purport to help us work better/faster/smarter, typically offer one single, topdown system for improving your productivity. The so-called silver bullet.
But creatives are unpredictable: We all have our own idiosyncratic work habits, clients demands, and quirks, which means that a single top-down system rarely works for us. Not to mention that we naturally resist the rules such a system imposes.
Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, Manage Your Day-to-Day provides a playbook of tried-and-true best practices for producing great work. To accomplish this, we recruited 20 of the smartest creatives and researchers we knew—from Stefan Sagmeister to Seth Godin to Gretchen Rubin to Tony Schwartz to Dan Ariely—and asked them to share their road-tested insights on what helps them do great creative work. See the full contributor list here.
Premise #3 – Great design matters.
As with everything we produce at Behance and 99U, design was central to the creation of this book series. Manage Your Day-to-Day was meticulously planned—from an editorial and a design perspective—for a creative audience.
On the editorial side, the essays are concise, compulsively readable, and insightful. You can read the book cover to cover in just a few sittings, or dip into it by topic as the mood strikes you. In between each of the essays, we’ve included bite-size wisdom—in the form of beautifully typeset quotations—from creative greats ranging from Ray Bradbury to Man Ray to John Cage.
On the design side, every detail was considered by the Behance design team. Packaged in a neat 5″ x 7″ format, the book is sleek, sexy, and highly portable. From cover design to paper stock to fonts, we hand-crafted every component of the book to make it a beautiful reading experience for you.
Our hope is that Manage Your Day-to-Day will empower you to shift your mindset, recalibrate your workflow, and push more incredible ideas to completion. Here’s to doing more great creative work!