Tips For The Unrelenting Creative: How To Have Career Athleticism

man running on side of road


Hi everyone,

It was difficult for me to write today’s newsletter because I’ve been so preoccupied by the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Over the past few days, Twitter has been my source for information related to the conflict. Here are a few handles I’m following in case they’re helpful to you:

Here’s to hoping that there is a quick resolution to the conflict.


  • How To Have Career Athleticism: When I entered college in 1995 (yikes), there was a very clear path towards a sustainable career in music. Today—as with much of our workforce— that traditional career path is a lot more unfocused. We need a new way to define how career success looks. 

    Tip: Instead of looking for a particular job, focus on the vocation you would like to pursue, which offers a larger opportunity for career success. Investing in soft skills such as adaptability, flexibility, and the ability to work independently will all serve you in our new economy. Writer Blair Miller describes this type of training as career athleticism.

    Related: Your Art And The Ten Year Plan
  • How To Get More Sleep: In my 20s I would go days with 5-6 hours of sleep, maximizing the hours in the day so that I could tackle my big projects. Today, I can’t do my best work without getting between 7-8 hours of sleep. My bedtime routine has become increasingly important.

    Tip: Allow for a period of time to wind down at night and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. I have been tweaking my bedtime routine for the past year. My current plan includes putting my devices down, reading a bit, and doing some deep breathing exercises to help me drift off. I am going to try this method to help me fall asleep this week.

    Related: Seven Tips To Keep Your Calendar Sacred
  • How To Get To Your Creative Work When There’s No Time: I used to get frustrated when I completed a two-hour work block without any results to show for the time I invested. This was especially frustrating when I didn’t seem to have enough time in the day to tackle my creative ideas. Now, I understand that there will be days that execution and output need to be on the back burner so I can muse about what I will create next. 

    Tip: Separate ideation from execution and give yourself permission to accept that simply musing about a creative idea is a part of the work. Taking time to think, explore and muse is often a logical step to get to the execution phase of creative work. Dan Shipper wrote this fantastic article about finding time to tackle your creative work. 

    Related: Stop Letting Email Run Your Life

Things I Loved

  • This video describes how to get the most out of the things you share on social media.
  • This thread on how to create more luck is brilliant!
  • Here are seven habits that lead to happiness in old age.
  • 40 animators from around the world collaborated to create this video.
  • Here is a great thread about the search for beauty.
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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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