I'm trying something new to share books I've loved. Instead of attempting to summarize an entire book for you, I'll be sharing what especially resonated with me or changed my outlook. After all, that's supposedly the point of self-development books, right?

First up is Big Dreams, Daily Joys by Elise Blaha Cripe.


Elise is the only person I follow on Instagram that might fall under the "influencer" category. She’s clearly a uber creative and driven person, but seems to do a good job at not getting caught in the “busy" trap.


The book is written in very digestible, short chapters (usually just a page or two) and is full of helpful nuggets to help you identify, prioritize, and achieve your goals. Here are three of my favorite tidbits from the book.

 

1. 10 minutes of drudgery

“Try this trick for stuff that feels like it takes longer than it actually does or the stuff on your list you dread doing: Turn on some music or a podcast, set a timer, then GO! How much can you get through in twenty minutes?”


I love the idea of putting a timer to mundane tasks to add some motivation. Often the task I've been putting off for days takes only a few minutes of focused attention. Or, if it takes more time, the act of saying "I only need to do this for 10 minutes" is enough to get some momentum going. More often than not, I'll keep going even after the timer goes off.

 

2. What to do when you have too many ideas

Write each project at the top of a notebook page.

For each of your ideas, write down every thought you have that’s associated with each idea.

Ask yourself:

  1. What would it take to bring this to life?
  2. What excites you about this?
  3. What would you call it?
  4. Who can help you?
  5. What’s the color scheme?
  6. What do you need to get started?
  7. What would be the first step?”

(I would add, “What would I be willing to give up to make this happen?”)

After going through these for your different ideas, you’ll probably realize that you have more energy for one of them.

Go with that one!


As someone who always has a million product ideas and wants to do them all right now, I feel like this exercise was made for me. Another tactic I use in launching a new product is to make myself wait at least a few months before I decide to move forward. This gives me a chance to let the idea become more fully formed and to see if my excitement fades or if I can't stop thinking about it.

 

3. Stop waiting for the perfect time

“You have to give up the fantasy that 'someday' or 'next year' or 'after retirement' or 'when things settle down' is going to be the solution to making time. That wonderful day in the future when the house is clean and the kids are cared for and the inbox is at zero and the work has been submitted is never coming. This is sad but also really freeing. Once you accept that the 'perfect day' is not coming, you can stop waiting for it. You can make every day a 'good enough day' and begin to work with what you have."


I relate to this most when it comes to writing (including this very blog post!). I always imagined writing as such a romantic endeavor, where my environment/mood/inspiration needed to be just right. Shockingly, that moment never came, so I decided to block a day on my calendar, rent a private office at a coworking space for the day, and get to work!


If you dig these tips, definitely check out the whole book!