Plainionist Journey of a Software Craftsman

Book Review: Manage Your Day-to-Day

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

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

This is one of these books which try to help you achieving more of what is important to you.

It is definitively not the first book I have read about “being more productive” and “focus”, but “Manage Your Day-toDay” gave me a few new insights and reminded my of some things I had learn some time back already but got forgotten in the chaos of daily business.

In fact I think every software craftsman should read regularly - at least once a year - about “focus” and “productivity”. It is all too easy to get lost in these many and “important” things which pop up every day on our desks and in our email in-box.

Could you also spent your whole day sending and responding to email just to wonder what you have done the whole day in the evening?

Here are a few key takeaways for me from that book:

  • MOST IMPORTANT: Do your most meaningful creative work at the beginning of your day. Leave “reactive work” (like responding to email) for later.
  • Don’t wait for the perfect moment to start creative work. Just start and consistently work on it.
  • Book some time in your calender for important/creative work.
  • Disable everything which can disturb you when doing creative work. Close your email program!
  • Make progress visible to stay motivated (e.g. frequent check-in to source control or keep a project diary)
  • Frequently remind yourself of long term goals (e.g. pin those on your monitor). Use these goals to verify the importance of the things you do right now.
  • Try out new things in low-pressure environments.

There are many more things to learn from this book. Do yourself a favor reserve a few hours and read it!

My personal strategy for more productivity and happiness: Have a single, achievable goal each day!

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