Are you a night owl or a morning person? When do you become most energized? When are you the most productive? When are you the most reflective? Your creativity will be enhanced if you can find the best time for you to do each kind of work.
Sometimes life gets in the way. Some time ago by following my daughter in her unusual sleep schedule, I discovered that very early mornings were wonderful for me to do deep creative thinking and processing. I found myself especially productive when I was writing in the predawn hours. What is interesting to me, is that just after I wake up is not the same as super early morning for that kind of productive work. I guess it is something to do with the diurnal rhythm and the sun coming up.
Predawn, I find myself in the flow – that wonderful, timeless state where the words pour out and decided me it’s morning and other people start to need me.
Unfortunately ordinary life can get in the way of choosing when I can work. It would be wonderful to get up at 4 AM every day and get in four hours of productive work even before anyone else is about. Sometimes my body lets me down, and I just need more sleep.
But sometimes it is the allure of the night that prevents me from sleeping. I have always been a night owl from my theater days, and I find the dark seems to energize my thinking.
What is not helpful for me at night, is trying to complete project work – handwork or tasks that require a lot of visual acuity. There have been many times in my life when a deadline has forced me to pull an all-nighter. But the work from these sessions was never as good, and now I substitute planning instead of urgency.
When you are trying to determine when your most creative time of day is, consider that there are many different types of activity. There is the learning and planning stage. There is the producing of artworks or expressive pieces. Then there is the critiquing and evaluating of the work that you have done, the editing. There is also the need for mental exercises and creativity work not connected to specific projects (like reading this blog). The seeking of inspiration, time just noodling, and time practicing skills might need different times of day from the knuckle-down-and-work time.
Think about which activities energize you. Those will be one that are good to do early in the day – that will keep you awake and alert. Finishing a task early gives a sense of accomplishment and inspiration.
Then consider which activities relax you, or give you a sense of release. Those are the ones that are great to do towards the end of your day, when you can look back and feel satisfied.
Either way, the important thing is to know your self and to schedule your most productive work at the time that works for you.