One of my favorite things to do is read books that educate me. I still have so much learning to do in this life and I definitely feel like God teaches me a lot through books, whether it’s about business, parenting, health and so much more. My problem has always been reading good books and forgetting EVERYTHING I learned in them.
A while back, I decided to start printing out my highlighted notes from books (my kindle app makes this super easy!!) and review them every once and a while. This led to me wanting to share those with everyone. I know people are busy and if reading is not your thing, I thought it would be fun to offer people the cliff notes to the best info. Or if you are a reader, maybe a little info like this will help you decide what books you want to read. Time is precious and starting and stopping books because they aren’t what you thought isn’t fun.
So far, I’ve compiled 16 books with a PDF of my favorite highlights from each book on my site Val & Words. I haven’t touched it at all this year and have 8 books I’m planning to add.
For now, I thought I’d share with you one of my latest reads Manage Your Day from the Behance team. Several business gurus lend their best advice for making the most of your work day. The urgent usually trumps the important when it come to getting things done. This book talks about how to focus on the important instead of just emptying your inbox. The more I incorporate the principles in this book, the more I find myself doing the creative work I always wanted to do but could never fit in my day.
Here are a few of my favorite take away points:
If you’re producing just one page, one blog post, or one sketch a week, you expect it to be pretty darned good, and you start to fret about quality. I have good days and I have bad days. Some days, I don’t get much done at all. But that’s okay, because I know I’m working steadily. My consequent lack of anxiety puts me in a more playful frame of mind and allows me to experiment and take risks.
If you develop the habit of working frequently, it becomes much easier to sit down and get something done even when you don’t have a big block of time; you don’t have to take time to acclimate yourself.
“What I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while.” Day by day, we build our lives, and day by day, we can take steps toward making real the magnificent creations of our imaginations.
Zeke now begins his days by tackling his most important task first. He focuses for sixty to ninety minutes on the challenge he believes has the greatest likelihood of adding long-term value.
When possible, do your work with pen and paper to avoid even the possibility of online distraction.
Start with small blocks of focused time and then gradually work yourself up to longer durations. A good rule of thumb is to begin with an hour at a time, then add fifteen minutes to each session every two weeks. The key, however, is to never allow distraction. If you give in and quickly check Facebook, cancel the whole block and try again later. Your mind can never come to believe that even a little bit of distraction is okay during these blocks.
I think that e-mail and social networks are a great example of random reinforcement. Usually, when we pull the lever to check our e-mail, it’s not that interesting. But, from time to time, it’s exciting. And that excitement, which happens at random intervals, keeps us coming back to check our e-mail all the time.
Conditions to produce one’s craft are rarely ideal, and waiting for everything to be perfect is almost always an exercise in procrastination.