Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind.
(Scott Belsky Founder of Beehance 2013)
This is the next volume in the 99U quest to supply the missing curriculum. This elusive curriculum is the one they did not teach you at school.
99U is part of the Beehance network, a place where artists showcase their creative portfolios. The last book was a forerunner to a series of books designed to stimulate and facilitate creativity. It was called Making Ideas Happen. You can find related articles at 99u.com
Manage Your Day – To –Day is a Five Chapter set of interviews with successful people who have valuable things to say about topics such as building a routine to nourish creative production while finding focus amid distraction. Artists are encouraged to think about the legacy handed down by Marshal McLuhan (2005) Understanding Media by developing an understanding that the tools we use end up altering the way we work and think. Tools such as email need to be tamed so that we use them to design our workflow. We are cautioned not to allow the presence of these tools to end up designing our arts based practice.
Metaphor of the Tool Designing the Artist
Not surprisingly, the metaphor of the tool designing the artist has been carried one step further. An artist’s most precious and basic tool, the human mind, is the next to come under fire. Training our own capacity to be more creative is the subject of chapter four – Sharpening Your Creative Mind. Artists are encouraged to create for their own satisfaction while always being ready for insight to emerge.
The suggestions go so far as to suggest artists even attempt to trick their brain into being receptive and productive. Perfectionism (as always) is cast as a formidable but malleable enemy that can if treated with sufficient attention and mindful respect can be coxed to come “unstuck”.
The line up of interviewees is impressive Mark McGuinness (Lateral Action. Resilience.) Gretchin Rubin(The Happiness Project) , Seth Godin (Go Make Something Happen. The Icarus Deception), Tony Schwartz (The Power of Full Engagement. The Energy Project), Leo Babauta (The Power of Less. Zen Habits.),Cal Newport (So Good They Can’t Ignore You. Study Hacks), Christian Jarrett (The Rough Guide to Psychology. Blog),Dan Ariely (A Taste of Irrationality. Blog), Erin Rooney Doland (Unclutter Your Life in One Week. Blog), Scott Belsky (Making Ideas Happen. 99U), Aaron Dignan (Game Frame. Blog), Lori Deschene (Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life‘. Blog),
Tiffany Shlain (Brain Power. Blog) Linda Stone, James Victore (Victore or, Who Died and Made You Boss? Blog Post), Todd Henry (The Accidental Creative. Blog), Scott McDowell (CHM Partners) , Stefan Sagmeister (Stefan Sagmeister.Ted Talk), Elizabeth Grace Saunders (The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment. Blog)and finally Steven Pressfield whom we all know from Do the Work!
I recommend this book for anyone who writes or works creatively. That description is painted with a very broad brush, for who is not distracted from their core task by email these days? Who among us would not be more creative if we had more quality downtime and engaged in a little meditation?
We are living in an information age and the challenges of this way of living are great. This compilation of wisdom based on experience walks the reader through ways to control the clutter of our communicative lives and through a process of managing, acknowledging and letting go, harness the power of mediums of expression. Readers are left with the useful idea that these mediums will either shape or be shaped by us as consumers.
More Than Just a Self Help Book!
The beauty of the book is that it is synched into a network of great thinkers. Beehance is a creativity network and 99u has the power of being switched into this resource. At the end of each segment the reader can click through to the website to further engage with the ideas of each contributor. Although already warned of the capacity of the Internet to grab at an artists most finite resource – his or her attention, it is also the reason why Kindle books are the perfect medium for those who would seek knowledge about, and the benefits of experience, wisdom and know how.
Apply these ideas not only to your creative world but also to your workaday life and to personal communication. If you are an artist be sure to take the time to check out Beehance and 99U.
- Belsky,S. (2012) Making Ideas Happen. Kindle.
- Belsky,S. (2013) Manage Your Day – To –Day. Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind. Kindle.
- Murphy,J. (2013) Global Citizens Creative Arts Text. Insights and Activities. Kindle.