In the classic book The 80/20 Principle, author Richard Koch lays out his 10 Golden Rules of Success, applicable to both business and to life in general. I have my own particular take on them, which is a little different than Koch’s, and are more specific to the creative lifestyle.
The concept is simple: work smarter, not harder. But we live in a society that’s more impressed by quantity than quality. Who are we more impressed by, the guy who busts his hump 60 hours a week, or the guy who is frugal enough to work part-time so he can do volunteer work and engage his creative life? We buy tons of stuff for ourselves (and for others) rather than doing the on thing that would have tremendous impact, because more is better. Along with that, we also seem to think that grand gestures are subjectively better than small, sincere ones.
Start thinking of the things you do in terms of their impact. What do you get out of it? What do other people get out of it? Why are you doing it? Is it even worth doing? Going back to my definition of creativity, using what you’ve got to get what you want, do the things you do move you toward, or away from, those goals? What are you trying to impact? A project? A relationship? Your finances? Your education?
Do more of the stuff that works, less of the stuff that doesn’t. Make sure what you do is moving you forward, in the direction you want to go, and not backward. That’s all there is to it.