Do Personal Work. I know that this sometimes sounds counterproductive when you are in the middle of a string of hairy deadlines, but try to always have a project that can get your juices flowing. Pick something that you have always wanted to create and make drawings for that idea. Have a little painting on the side that you can noodle on when you need a little break from that mind numbing, overly art directed project that you are in the thick of. Try a new medium or surface just for fun. I promise that the energy you will generate from these personal explorations will spill over into your regular work and make it better. Those personal pieces will also build your portfolio and show your clients what you are capable of and the passion you inject into these works will be evident.
Take Some Time Off. This has always been a tough one for me, since as with doing personal work, it can feel selfish unfinished projects are staring you in the face. I have found that if I let myself, I can ALWAYS be working. This is not good. The deadlines never go away and sometimes they overwhelm. I can drive myself crazy worrying about getting stuff done, so I am learning to just let it go, even if for just a few hours spent with family. The work will still be there tomorrow and with a little down time, you will be better able to focus your energy. Besides, the people you work so hard to provide for need you to actually be there once in a while. Don't forget that. Spend some time connecting with the people you love. Also in your down time, take a moment to connect with your spiritual side, whatever that looks like for you. Pray, meditate, go to church, engage in meaningful service, study scriptures, go for a walk in nature, whatever. I find that this allows me to see the bigger picture of what life is really all about and then when I get back in the studio, I can be more effective and productive.
There are tons of ideas and methods that could be added to this list, but these are the ones that I am thinking about today, the things that are helping bring balance and focus to my life and work at the moment. Keep climbing that mountain- one step at a time!