Finish the books.

My mantra so far this year has been, “Finish the books.”

When I received this advice in January, everything in me said: YES.

I’d left multiple books halfway read, stories partially written, photo albums half assembled. Those unfinished things seemed to call to me. So I carried that phrase with me and I pull it out whenever I have a moment of decision about what to do.

Instead of picking up my phone: “Finish the books.”

Waiting in line: “Finish the books.”

A free minute before bed: “Finish the books.”

I’m now 10 books into the year. I’m writing more. I’m finishing a long-unfinished project that isn’t even technically a book.

The phrase has been useful, but not necessarily because “finish the books” is the best advice (though it is for me right now). The phrase is useful because it points me in a direction. When a free moment comes my way, I already know what I’m going to do with it, how I want to spend it best.

Before the sun is up, I’ve already decided what to put into the nooks and crannies of my day. What comes of those small moments is bigger than I expected.