I have a deadline coming up for an art show and an uncompleted painting. I know that the only way to get it done is to keep it a priority and four days a week I sit down first thing in the morning and get to work on it. It's important to do this even on the days I have other things to do, because if I start making excuses and procrastinating I will never make the deadline.
I used to push through 6 or 7 days of working but found that pushing that hard would actually cause more harm than good. Life is about balance, when it leans too far in one direction one of two things will happen. Pushing will tire you out and keep the brain from functioning at optimal level. When tired, a lot of mistakes get made, which cost extra time to fix. On the other hand, procrastinating will take away the momentum needed to complete a project. If you don't keep the muse happy she'll go where she's needed :)
The downside of a push like this is that it does sometimes seem like all work and no play. When you are doing art for yourself it's more like playing, you can enjoy the moment. I find myself missing the other art I've been doing...no sculptures or concept jewelry is even being attempted right now because I need to focus on the deadline, but I do miss it. Normally I would be able to allow paint drying periods to be time for working on multiple products, I'm doing my first layer of paint in paintstiks this time so that I can get overnight drying and keep working.
Today was my chore day..housework, bill paying etc. A day away from the work of my art, but not exactly a day off either. And yet, I found myself itching to be painting, so the work schedule I've set up for myself is doing it's job :)
On another note, I want to thank Mem's Pocket Palette for the lovely and unexpected feature she did for my shop at 1000 Markets today. I hope that you'll take a moment to go visit her shop there, I am totally in love with her Nesting bowl and get a giggle from her Ol' Folk collections every time I see them. Thanks, Mem!