The book is divided into four main chapters, each dealing with a specific topic:
1. Building a Solid Rock Routine
2. Finding Focus in a Distracted World
3. Taming Your Tools
4. Sharpening Your Creative Mind
For each topic, guest writers are invited to share with readers their thoughts on the specific topic. So, the style of writing can be different from article to article. However, each article is nicely written in my opinion and everything is tied together nicely. This book tells creative (designers, writers, artists, etc.) how to better manage their time to give priority to creativity. It’s current and practical while still presenting timeless principles. It covers several topics, but my favorite tips dealt with time management.
• Do creative work first and reactive work (such as dealing with messages) second. Block off a large part of each day for creative work on your priorities, ignoring outside communication.
• Limit your daily to-do list (suggestion: Post-it note size) and don’t keep adding to it during the day. Put new tasks on future lists.
• Our bodies follow ultradian rhythms: 90-minute periods at the end of which we reach the limits of our capacity to work at the highest level.
• “If you can, it’s best to find a good stopping point on a project – one that frees your mind from nagging questions – before moving on to another task.” This provides mental closure so you can focus on the next task. Exceptions: problem-solving and brainstorming, which can benefit from switching focus.
• Create windows of non-stimulation in your day. Think, digest, and plan.
• “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” -Warren Buffett
• If a message presents an idea or opportunity that won’t help you achieve your large goals, decline and move on.