Setting Aside Creative Time

I’m a morning person.

I love getting up in the early morning and doing things. In the past that has meant going on long bike rides, working out at the gym, or solving the hard problems at work.  As the morning turns into afternoon, it’s not uncommon for me to feel my productivity drop.

In the morning I’m at my most creative. Ideas seem to leap into my head. In fact, over the years the vast majority of articles on my technical blog have been written in the morning.

Audrey, my wife, is very familiar with this trait of mine. Indeed, she shares it, being one of many reasons why we’re so compatible.  With this in mind, she suggested that we dedicate an hour every morning to doing something creative.

I’ll admit I was resistant to the idea. I needed as much morning time as possible for work. Especially for solving the hard problems I so enjoy tackling. In fact, when life distracts me from work in the morning, I get antsy and irritable. Nevertheless she convinced me to try it for a week, suggesting I spend the time writing fiction. We ordered a book on fiction writing exercises. After it arrived, we began our trial week on January 15.

To my surprise I enjoyed myself!

Instead of hampering my work productivity, creative time enhanced it. I was more focused. Problems were easier to resolve.  It was like the hour or so of creativity warmed me up for work. I’m delighted to say that in general I’ve felt unusually energized and inspired.

It’s been a great lesson for us and something I hope others consider as part of their day.  Even if you aren’t a morning person, try being creative for a time before you work. It doesn’t have to be a full hour and can be anything. While I like to write, and Audrey paints or writes, you might consider other things such as music, photography, or anything else that you want to do.

California Citrus State Historic Park


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