Most of us spend our time in either Quarter 1 or Quarter 4. We're either rushing to meet deadlines, or we're burnt out and recuperating in front of American Idol.
The trick is to put more focus on Quarter 2 - the things that are important to us, but we don't get around to them because there are no deadlines attached.
My experience is that Quarter 2 is where you build your book. This is where you start really tweaking and refining the ideas you've come up with for your paying clients. It's also where you seek out pro bono projects that let you stretch creatively. It's where you figure out a way to bring an amazing piece of digital creative to a willing client when they only asked for a print ad.
Very rarely can you build a strong book waiting for the perfect brief to land on your desk. Or delivering to the client precisely what they asked for. Your book grows or withers based on what you do with Quarter 2.