As a creative professional, time is always of the essence. This is one of the only fields of study where no matter how much you know, sometimes you have to wait for the good idea to express itself. On top of that is the admin. work and clientele. Here are a few things I have learned and somethings I will continue to struggle with.
Most artists already have experienced what it is like to not finish a painting or not finish it in a timely matter. It can be discouraging and a lackluster experience. Only with many hours of practicing and pushing yourself, you will gain a mastery over the physical craft. But with commissioned work, neither of these outcomes are options. It must be beautiful AND on time. That is a sign of a hard working creative that will see a vision through until the end. It will also ensure you get paid on time to pay your own bills. And if done well enough, it will bring in more work and support.
It is very helpful to schedule a working time to create a consistent and habitual practice. Much like when you show up at your day job, your mind will kick into gear and start working on the problem. I have heard that artists in our day and age, like to watch tv or listen to podcasts to have some entertainment or semi distraction while they are working. I often listen to speeches and audio books during long painting sessions. But there is a limitation on this. Some lose focus on their work and get to side tracked by these distractions. Without a boss there to scare them back to work, they are okay with losing 4 working hours. Yet they are confused to why their month has been so unproductive.