The hubby recommended a Lifehacker article written last month about learning how to find the time to schedule your creativity, which I found interesting enough to try. But wait, you might think. You can’t schedule creativity.
Apparently, you can.
The Lifehacker article states that there are certain times in an average human’s daily routine where they tend to be more creative than in others. Being tired spurs rather than curbs your creativity, for example. So does exercise. So is getting drunk (and speaking for myself, this is good to know.) But if getting tired or drunk isn’t something you’re looking forward to just to finish off that last chapter of your work in progress, then the article also proposes that learning to schedule for the times when your creativity is at its peak would be most beneficial. Start by keeping a time schedule of the hours where you get flashes of ideas, together with your daily routine, and a pattern should emerge.
I thought that was a pretty good experiment to try, so I’ve been keeping a record of my writing habits for the past two weeks (twelve days, actually). While the article says to write down every creative insight you make in the course of the day, I restricted mine to the hours when I actually started writing, or did other related things (editing, plotting, etc.) Here’s what I got (click for a larger view).
What the data shows:
1. I wake up early enough, considering I sleep fairly late at night, so I often get somewhere between 6-8 hours of sleep each night, and longer usually on Sundays, where I usually get to sleep in.
2. I take 8 km walks to the post office to mail work and writing-related things. I do have a lot of time to think during those long walks, and I’ve found lots of ideas that way, which is why I don’t usually take the bus or jeep (unless it’s been raining hard). I am not entirely sure if this (as a form of exercise) affects my creativity, since it doesn’t seem to influence the number of hours I write across the board.
3. I am at my most creative when I am eating. I usually eat alone with an open laptop for company and, since my day job is what you could technically call a work-from-home business, I get to write for as long as I want to afterward.
4. When the hubby gets home in the evening, I don’t usually get as much of an urge to write. Every now and then we head to a local cafe or milk tea place when the hubby brings work home, and I can usually spend another hour or two, writing.
5. Obviously, when I am in pain I am not very creative. (Stomach pains, and a lot of gas. You probably don’t need to know more.)
6. Sunday is my least productive day.
I should note that my waking and sleeping hours are more stable compared to a few months ago, when I was still single and might be up as early as 5 am in the morning for no reason I can explain, or still be snoring in bed at 1 pm. I usually get up when the hubby does.
According to the chart, I am most likely to write more in the afternoons, from lunch till 6 pm. When are you at your most creative?