I had a delightful conversation with Jocelyn Glei, Editor-in-Chief of 99U.com about the first book “Managing Your Day to Day” in their book series aimed at educating creative professionals.
About Jocelyn Glei
She is passionate about creating content-driven products that people love.
How the Book Series Project Came About:
The trigger was a conversation with the editor of Scott’s book “Making Ideas Happen” and brainstormed ideas for a book series. The key question was to figure out a set of problems that every creative person was struggling with and address those problems in a series of books.
That quest resulted in three over-arching themes for the book series:
1. Manage Your Day to Day | How do I organize and make the most of the day
2. Maximize Your Potential | How do you build a great creative career
3. Make an Impact (working title) | Your ideas and your business in the world
The first book in the series was on time management. There were a lot of books that talk about time management that talk to the managers and not the makers. Jocelyn and her team’s goal was to get 20 super smart thought leaders to comment on this topic in a way that resonates with creative people – the makers.
I asked Jocelyn what would be three key takeaways from the first book and here is what I got
Three Takeaways from Book #1
Disclaimer: Jocelyn acknowledged that there were dozens of insights in the book (I agree) but if she had to pick only three, she would go with the following ones:
1. The idea of being willing to say No. How you structure your daily routine and making sure that you are creating focus blocks will determine how much you will get out of the day. You know that you need to spend time on your creative projects with the same respect that you give to the meetings with someone. Setting aside 2 or 3 hours during the day where you can work in a focused fashion on your creative projects will make a huge difference.
2. Most things can wait more than you think you can. We are caught up in this kind of a rat race and we assume that we need to “respond” to something. You set the tone for what people can expect out of you. You feel the need to respond instantly to everything but that is a self-created problem more than anything else. You have to be able to disconnect.
3. Resting and Refueling. This was an idea from Tony Schwartz. The maximum amount of time that you can go deep and perform at your peak abilities is about 90 minutes. Then, you need to rest for at least a few minutes. There are so many things to engage all the time so you keep going and going and going. In a 10-hour work day you might have only accomplished real work in the six hours of those ten hours. You need to control your schedule and include resting and refueling into the mix.
Not to stop there, I asked Jocelyn what would be one insight that surprised her as she collected these insights from the thought leaders. This is the one she picked:
4. Be careful about the Email Apnea. The most surprising insight for Jocelyn was from Linda Stone’s essay about Email Apnea. There is a tendency to breathe shallow and that has physical manifestations – not good ones of course. If you are checking email too often, it elevates your stress and almost puts you into flight or fight mode. This is strenuous to your body in a negative way.
I enjoyed the book very much and I know you will benefit from this whether you are a maker or not. You now what to do 🙂