I’ve been reading Mason Currey’s new book, Daily Rituals, with an odd sort of interest. It’s not dissimilar to the questions writers get about what tool they use to write. (I still favor the Pilot Razor Point pens from the 1980s.)
The take-away is that the details of your schedule’s rituals and routines are far less important than the fact that they’re there. None of the above geniuses mentions emptying an inbox or childcare, though many have their own vices and distractions that would seem to take away from creative, deep flow. In other words, downtime is okay as long as one is disciplined about the work.