It’s November 1st, 2015 as I’m writing this, and for the past seven months, I’ve been experimenting with optimizing the amount of time I have during a given day to accomplish all the things I need to do. Holding down a full-time job, nurturing a family, and still finding time to work on creative endeavors is nothing short of exhausting. But what’s worse than exhaustion is going to bed without creating anything that day.
@@What can you do to make sure you put in your 10,000 hours?@@
Rising Early to Create
I’ve read a lot of articles about doing your most creative work first thing in the morning. Many creatives site that their most creative states are often right as they wake up because they can fall into creative flow without their internal critic slowing them down.
I decided to try this idea for myself and I’m pleased with the results. If you’re having a hard time fitting something into your schedule you may want to try it out. Here’s how it works for me:
I start my day at 4:50 AM. I know that I’m not likely to jump up after I shut my alarm off, so I place it across the room.
Between 4:50 AM and 5:00 AM, I stretch, pull on some clothes and do my morning routine in the bathroom. I’m not crazy about looking amazing at this point. I just need to be presentable.
At around 5:00 AM, I hop in my car and do a coffee run. I listen to a podcast on the way so that my mind begins working and I start compiling new ideas.
I return home by 5:20 AM to a house that’s still quiet and peaceful. Just the way I like it.
From 5:20 AM to 6:50 AM, I work on any project I need to complete. Almost all of the time, this begins with meeting my daily word count for my novel, followed by administrative detail and email.
Around 6:50 AM, I’ll need to begin getting my son and I ready for school and work respectively.
Between 5:20 AM and 6:50 AM is magic hour. Well, it’s more like a magic hour and a half. Waking up before I need to isn’t particularly fun, but I can enter the rest of my day knowing that I knocked out the hardest part of my day.
I don’t have to stress about whether or not I’ll meet my word count goals while I’m at work.
I go to work happier because I feel better about myself and my progression.
And any extra time I have to work after my magic hour feels like bonus time.
The only downside to this is that I’ve needed to alter my sleep schedule. Anyone or anything that demands my attention past my “bedtime” results in either losing that time or a diminished quality of work. And once I fall out of my sleep groove, it can take me two or three days to fall back in step.
Being Responsible for Your Creative Time
@@Creatives need to be responsible for their creative time.@@ Many creatives will put that time on the back burner to do other things like play video games, go to the movies, or any number of things that doesn’t fulfill their goals. It’s easy to make excuses to yourself and justify why you’re not doing what you know you should:
“I can do it later. I’m just not feeling inspired.”
“I don’t have time for this right now.”
“It’s not like I’m getting paid for it.”
If you want to move forward, you MUST make time for creativity. Don’t allow your muse to control you. And you’ll never get paid for something if you don’t establish the discipline needed to work despite how you feel about it.
What About You?
I hope you found this helpful. If so, please share it with others who might need it.
Do you put creativity first everyday?
How are you holding yourself accountable for your creative work?
Leave a comment below and let me know!