Tips For The Unrelenting Creative: How To Embrace Solitude

Hi everyone,

This week’s newsletter is all about different ways to live a fulfilling, productive life. I think that’s maybe because I’ve been giving a lot of thought about my own life and ways to be productive. On the top of my to-do list is saying no to more things, so that I can spend more time with family and friends. With so many great “opportunities” out there, it’s often difficult to turn things down.

Thanks for reading and here’s to hoping that this newsletter helps you identify the things that are most important to you.


  • How To Plan a 30-hour Workweek: When I started my career, I didn’t even keep a calendar because my schedule was in my head. Then, one day, I completely forgot an important rehearsal. From that point forward, I documented everything on my calendar. The problem was that, until recently, if something needed to be scheduled, I simply opened my calendar and filled an empty space. Although I wasn’t missing anything, I was also regularly stretched too thin.

    Blogger Khe Hy suggests in this post that you need to schedule in time to think, time for exercise, and time to execute the things that you have planned for yourself in order to find balance. While the idea of a 30-hour workweek might not be possible for some of you, the concept of blocking time and starting your day with your most important thing at work or in life will help you thrive.

    Three Simple Steps To A Productive Week
  • How To Embrace Solitude: I used to think that being in an open office environment would be a great way to work because I could easily connect with colleagues and I thought I would enjoy the din of people working around me. The pandemic helped me realize that I actually do better working in solitude.

    Tip: Even if you are an extrovert, working in solitude can help you stay focused. If you must work in a more public space, try to set aside 10–20 minutes of time to sit in solitude with your thoughts each day. Doing so can be an incredible way to be more creative, healthy, and productive. This article from Nesslabs is a great place to start if you’re interested in seeking a bit more solitude in your day.

    Related: Strategies To Help Artists Take More Time For Themselves
  • How to be more efficient: In college, I would spend over an hour each night on my music theory assignments. I was thorough, and I wanted to be certain I understood the concept covered in each assignment before moving on. The problem was that during the tests, I wasn’t able to finish my exam before time was up because I was used to spending hours on each theory assignment. I needed to be more efficient with my homework so that I could be more efficient during the test.

    To fix the music theory problem, I gave myself no longer than 60 minutes to complete my homework each night. While that had an impact on my daily assignments, it allowed me to finish each exam in plenty of time to check my answers. Today, I try to apply that same method by first establishing how much time I have to accomplish a particular task. From there, I work backwards to complete the work within the time allotted. Here is what Meta is doing to be more efficient.

    Seven Tips To Keep Your Calendar Sacred

Things I Loved

  • I feel like I’m constantly hiking on cringe mountain, and I’m here for the ride!
  • Here is a great infographic that describes how often things in your house should be cleaned.
  • This site provides ready-to-use messages for challenging social situations.
  • Music historian is a site that helps you identify new artists.
  • Which face is real and which is AI? Click this link to test yourself.

Last Week’s Most Read Articles

Photo Credit: Emma Simpson
More Stuff From Me!

→ Enroll in Extending Techniquesa course designed for performing artists who want or need help developing non-performance skills needed for a career in the arts. Note: For a limited time, we are offering half off our beta version of this course. When you register, enter the code ExtendingTechBeta to activate the savings.

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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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