Tips For The Unrelenting Creative: How To Time Block

pointing on a arm of a clock

Hi everyone,

Happy Tuesday! I turned 45 on Sunday and was happy to be able to celebrate with close family and friends. It was a great day. This week I’m diving deep into the finishing touches of my book and will be sending it off to a copyeditor in the next several days. The momentum feels great! I hope all of you enjoyed the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day over the past few days and that you have a great week ahead.

Thanks for reading!


  • How To Want Less: The path of a minimalist suggests someone who lowers financial risks to pursue their lives as creatives. That means living in a less expensive area, taking on roommates, and even sacrificing creature comforts like dining out or traveling. Living the minimalist lifestyle gives you maximum creative flexibility and the ability to take greater creative risks.

    Tip: Being a minimalist isn’t just about wanting less material things, it’s also about needing less life and career advancement to bring you joy, happiness, and satisfaction. Before you take that next life or career move, take stock of the beautiful things you already have in your life. You might be surprised how happy you become when you reframe what you need to truly be happy. This beautiful article in the Atlantic is a great place to start if you’re searching for a reframe. 

    Related: Finding meaning during the great resignation.
  • How To Time Block: If I don’t have my day planned out on my calendar, it is not going to be a productive day. Without my calendar, I try to pack WAY too many things into a very short amount of time, I get overwhelmed, and nothing gets done. For the last ten years, I have been tweaking my routine so I can get my best work—not the most work—done in the day.

    Tip: If you have trouble getting your best work done each day, Time Blocking is a fantastic strategy to adopt. Start each day by planning your day in blocks and assigning specific tasks to help move your ideas forward. I love the 2-hour block for my big projects because it allows me some time to get into an idea before time runs out. Here is a link to the best post I have found to help you develop your time blocking habit. 

    Related: Seven tips to keep your calendar sacred.
  • How To Develop A Morning Routine: I am now officially a taxi cab driver for my kids. Between sports, music lessons and hanging with their friends, transporting them to their next thing takes up the majority of my afternoons and early evenings. I love spending this season of life with them. This also means that my early mornings are now a super important part of my daily routine.

    Tip: Use the time between 5am-7am to tackle your big ideas. For so many (including me) this time is way too early, however, you are rarely interrupted at that time and it is such an incredible feeling to start the rest of your day knowing that your most important work is behind you. There’s also a lot of science that suggests a good morning routine is key to being productive. 

    Related: How artists can thrive in the big city. 

Things I Loved

  • This site shows you where the shade will be at any point of the day in your location.
  • Here is a fascinating brief history of the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl by my friend and musicologist Mark Clague.
  • Here’s a great video about what motivates us!
  • This is the best, free, photo editing site I’ve ever used.
  • This lovely take on the Wordle craze! Haven’t started Wordling yet? Maybe this is why;-)

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

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