How do they do it?

I constantly find myself looking at the many creative people that I follow, wondering how they are able to do so much with their time. Constantly creating, running their business, working their “day job,” writing, giving talks, etc. They wear so many different hats and still keep going. How is this possible? I mean surely there is a trick, right? 


They are working with the same 24 hours that the rest of us have. Even though I knew this, the realization was still a hard pill to swallow. I am not inherently lazy, but I do not always operate at 100% capacity. So what is it that drives them? What are doing to allow them to be so productive? What practices do they have in place to help them?

  • Rest:
    Getting the correct amount of sleep allows the brain to be rested and more focused during the time that they are awake and working. 
  • Writing:
    Writing allows them to flesh out ideas and help influence the next creative piece. It also serves as a physical archive of notes to come back to, instead of “trying” (and failing) to remember every important idea. This is something I’ve only recently started putting into practice.
  • Scheduling:
    Some of the artists I follow carefully schedule their days. They organize calendars and set timers to focus on the task at hand for the allotted time. 
  • Play:
    I use this term to describe the pursuit of passion, whether it’s drawing, painting, designing, dancing, making music, etc. They do this mainly for their own satisfaction, constantly striving to do their best. 
  • Airplane Mode:
    Sean McCabe of talks about undistracted time. He puts his phone on “airplane mode” — all devices disconnected from the Internet and incoming contact — to create or write. I’m implementing something like this, too, to give myself the space to create without distractions.  
  • Sabbaticals:
    Earlier I stated that sleep was important, but rest also comes in the form of sabbaticals. This provides creatives time away from their daily routine, allows them to tackle things they’ve put on the back burner, and gives the chance to pursue a different hobby that they do not normally do.

I’m sure there are other good disciplines not included in this list. How do you maximize your time? Feel free to respond to this email and let me know of any practices that you have set in place to make you successful at what you do.


    The "Lighthouse" piece I'd created a while ago is still one of my favorite pieces.  I'm going to be starting a new one soon. 


The "Lighthouse" piece I'd created a while ago is still one of my favorite pieces.  I'm going to be starting a new one soon. 

Here are some sneak peeks into a new piece that is in the works. It is one of the first larger pieces I've ever worked on. Exciting!

Jeffy Thomas