An interview with Gregory Ciotti
Yes, because insight and inspiration cannot be scheduled, but you have to get the work done on time just like everyone else. When I was working in the courthouse I was very "productive," but it took zero imagination. Now being productive sometimes means reading or staring at a wall--I need time to get the ideas. So when I sit down to do the work, I want to maximize my time; that's how you keep output high without killing that downtime you need for thinking.
Creative people therefore are most dependent on schedules, perhaps ironically. They need to stabilize everything else in their life, so they can be aggressive and novel on the creative front.
They go in this order:
1.) Manage your health--you'll thrive by managing your sanity and well-being, not by managing your "productivity."
2.) Manage your energy--work when you're hot and don't let go, and when you need to step away, do it. Know the difference between "done work" and "great work."
3.) Manage your environment--for people who struggle with procrastination, they need to look at the first two points before thinking about this. Then you should cultivate focus by managing your environment. Take control of what's around you: reduce distractions, increase friction to slack off, and find a place that becomes associated with work, even if you have to get out of the house. This will do most of the heavy lifting.
Last question: if you could offer one piece of life-changing advice, what would it be?
To get results other people can't, do things other people won't.