Tips For The Unrelenting Creative: How To Stretch Time

Hi everyone,

I’m back in LA for the final stretch before the end of the academic year. This is the busiest time of the year because we’re simultaneously wrapping up one year while deep in planning for the next. I hope you’re Spring is going well and thanks for reading as always!

  • How To Set Good Goals: In an earlier stage of life, I would get an idea and immediately go after it without a proper vision for what it was I was ultimately setting out to do. While this strategy usually gave me the competitive advantage of being ahead of my peers doing similar work, I often got stuck because I didn’t take the time to set long-term goals. 

    Before you dive in to any project, take the time to set good goals. Blogger Michael Siliski argues that good goals have a clear definition of success, they are focused, and they should give you the autonomy necessary to create. Check out his post for a detailed process on how to set good goals. 

    8 steps artists can take to achieve their three-year strategic plan.
  • How To Stretch Time: I can pack a lot into a day. However, between work, time with family, writing, and the dozens of other obligations that fill my time, I often feel stretched. I think that is part of the reason I spend so much time looking for the perfect solution to the optimal day. 

    Tip: In an era of time scarcity, instead of trying to figure out how to maximize your time so that you can fit one more thing in, maybe it’s time to do a little less. This interview with Jenny Odell provides a great overview of her new book Saving Time: Discovering Life Beyond The Clock, where she discusses the idea of stretching time in order to live a more meaningful life. ​

    Related: Is having work-life balance a path to mediocrity? 
  • How to Fail: As a classically trained bassoonist, failure was not an option. In orchestra, I played an important role in the success of a piece of music. If I missed a passage, I felt like I was failing the entire group of people on stage. That fear of failure translated into every facet of my life and career.

    If you want to get comfortable with failure, set up situations where failure is lower risk. Handling low-key failures will help you better understand how to navigate the bigger challenges that come up in your life and career. In the pursuit of new pathways, do not be afraid to fail epically, learn from that failure and keep going. BTW, in other fields, there are conferences completely dedicated to failure. Embrace it. 

    How I avoid burnout. ​​

Things I Loved

  • This site generates music from text.
  • This article discusses the mind-blowing number of new recordings released each year.
  • Here are five ways creatives can monetize their art.
  • Here is a quick way to maximize your productivity.
  • Caitlin Clark’s triple-double game in the NCAA tournament was insane!

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Photo Credit: Jan Huber
More Stuff From Me!

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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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