Review: Manage Your Day-to-Day.

Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Focus, Find Your Routine, & Sharpen Your Creative Mind Review

What Manage Your Day-to-Day did for me 

Upon starting whatmybrosaid, I became really interested with the idea of habits, structure, routine, and deep focus. 

I was on the look out for valuable advice and any practical tricks about juggling the various projects and undertakings I had going on.  

I wanted to be the type of person who was able to have multiple projects going on.

I wanted to be the type of person who was getting stuff done and being insanely productive all the while not compromising on time for play.

This book doesn’t offer a productivity system, but it offers valuable insights into the human condition from which these tips and tricks stem from.

And these tips and tricks are pretty universal as they help you tend to various areas of your life without neglecting any. 

It’s the little things.

Like:

Make use of the entire day.

Wake up in the morning.

If you want to improve your creativity, start writing at the beginning of the day.

That context and habits matter – creativity doesn’t just come but it can be elicited (this one was a major thing for me…I even wrote a super popular post about this subject)

Or that energy and willpower are vital things to take into account when planning your workload.

And lots of valuable advice on unplugging and taking the time to recharge so as to restore balance to your life, and why it’s important to find moments of pure solace in the age of hyper connectivity.

The devil really is in the details.

And this book is all about details.

Details that add up to broader picture of overarching success and productivity.

For me it was also a nice bonus that all the book was a joint effort.

That is, different types of writers, from various fields, whether it be from the world of film-making, business, or behavioural economics all used their unique voices and styles to add value to this great book.

By reading so many different, versatile styles, you learn what type of writing you like to read and notice how totally sometimes drastically different styles can still speak to you.

I find this quite cool because you’d have to read a few books in a row to reach a similar conclusion.

What Manage Your Day-to-Day can do for you

This is a playbook of ideas that will help you:

~ Improve your productivity,

~ Tweak your schedule to achieve a better structure in your life,

~ Optimise your work and gain control of your workflow,

~ Create an environment for yourself that would foster creativity,

~ Carve out time and energy for everything you want to do in a day.

On the whole, this little powerful book will give you a huge productivity boost.

It will open your eyes as to just how much you can accomplish in a single day. 

Why Manage Your Day-to-Day works

An impressive list of contributors shared their hard-earned nuggets of wisdom in this little book.

People like Dan Ariely or Scott Belsky who have enjoyed huge successes in their careers offer tips on how to perfect your routine, implement more structure into your life, or improve your creativity.

It’s all trial tested advice.

They are normal people who share many commonalities with you and me but for some reason excel at what they do.

And these reasons are in here.

If you want to be successful, just model success. 

P.S. Thanks for reading and feel free to subscribe to the whatmybrosaid email list for more posts like this.

Summary: The Dip by Seth Godin

Everybody wants to make their ideas happen.

In the beginning, all ideas are exciting.

You’re inspired.

Commitment levels are at a peak.

You get all of this support from your friends and family.

It’s an incredibly rewarding stage to be in.

But then comes a more difficult time that seeps into whatever you might be doing.

Your motivation starts to wane, you’re not garnering the regular support that you used to. It’s not a particularly rewarding phase to be in because rewards are so much scarcer than before.

In the Dip, it can feel like you’re running in place and not really progressing. You might be putting in all of this effort but nothing seems to change. You’re stuck.

This stage in your career, in your relationship, in pursuing your dreams, in making your ideas happen is called the Dip.

“[The Dip doesn’t] spoon feed you with little bits of improvement every day.”

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How to get past the Dip

The Dip is harsh. The Dip is difficult. The Dip hurts.

It is a breeding ground for uncertainty. It fills you with paralysing self-doubt.

The dip is a bit like a sieve. It’s designed to filter out the less committed, less passionate, less tenacious; to filter out those who, as Seth says, “don’t have the guts or wherewithal to take their work to the next level.”

Not many will be able to persevere when the going gets tough. Not many have the resolve to get through the times of constant uncertainty and near pathological self-doubt.

Sheer grit and determination will ultimately be the deciding factors whether you’ll get past the Dip or not. And if you’re passionate about something, you will be able to withstand the wherewithal of the Dip. 

“Passion yields tolerance – tolerance for all of the frustration and hardship that comes your way as you seek to make your ideas happen.”

– Scott Belsky, Making Ideas Happen

The Dip creates scarcity

Not many get through the Dip, though. People self-disqualify.

As Scott Belsky writes in Making Ideas Happen, “perspiration is the best form of differentiation.”

But few manage to put in the perspiration to reach the next level in their work.

This is what causes scarcity. And if we draw on Brock’s (1968) commodity theory, we’ll learn that scarcity enhances value.

“Where does scarcity come from? It comes from the hurdles that the markets and our society set up. It comes from the fact that most competitors quit long before they’ve created something that makes it to the top.”

-Seth Godin, The Dip

The Dip will test you

For many, the Dip will be a gruelling, uncomfortable time where there are more costs involved in sustaining our efforts than there are benefits.

Sure, that might be the case for a short while – but then it gets better. A lot of people though can’t bear to keep on going in the face of such difficulty.

People start the drop off one by one and give up on their dreams. Only the person that has the resolve to see through this arduous period by managing to persevere in spite of the circumstances will be the last man standing.

“Successful people don’t just ride out the Dip. They don’t just buckle down and survive it. No, they lean into the Dip. They push harder, changing the rules as they go.

Just because you know you’re in the Dip doesn’t mean you have to live happily with it. Dips don’t last quite as long when you whittle at them.”

-Seth Godin, The Dip

Consider Richard Branson for a second.

He wanted his own airline. But to make that happen, he couldn’t have just bought a bunch of planes and let skilled pilots fly them and that was that.

Before a Virgin Atlantic plane could take off from a runway, Branson had to get through the hurdles that the murky terrain of various laws and regulations have to offer.

On top of that, he had to deal with brand disparaging remarks of the competition who was trying to ruin his reputation and force him out of business.

That was Branson’s Dip. But he had the resolve to get through that challenging period where just about everything was turning against him. And he benefited greatly.

“If you can get through the Dip, if you can keep going when the system is expecting you to stop, you will achieve extraordinary results. People who make it through the Dip are scarce indeed, so they generate more value.”

When to quit

If you manage to get past the Dip, extraordinary results await.

However, that might not always be the case. Which is why you should know when to quit.

A Dip, as Seth says, is temporary. But a cul-de-sac (French for dead-end) is permanent.

The distinguishing feature of being in a cul-de-sac with your project, your idea, your job, or whatever, is that no matter how much effort you will put in, no progress will be made.

You just can’t move forward. It’s a dead-end.

You don’t want to be in a position where you’re wasting valuable time and expending precious mental resources on a project that isn’t worth the time investment.

“Why not quit? (…) because day to day, it’s easier to stick with something that we’re used to, that doesn’t make too many waves, that doesn’t hurt.”

That is why you need to be cautious of when to quit. You need to know when to quit so that you can free yourself up to pursue other, potentially more worthwhile projects that will have a higher Return On Investment.

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