Energy and creativity can come and go during the week. I find that I write best on Monday mornings, after a restful weekend of watching sports and sleeping late (I sometimes do both at the same time). When Monday morning strikes, my mind seems to shift into a higher gear. I have energy to work longer and more creatively.
And yet by Thursday, after having written two articles per day for three days in a row, something gets taken out. Energy ebbs. I find myself looking up at the ceiling or spending extra time chatting about TV with colleagues near the coffee machine at my co-working space. Once I actually do hunker down at my laptop, my mind works slower and is more prone to distraction. What took me three hours on Monday morning takes me five hours on Thursday afternoon.
I stick with it on Thursdays, of course, because even "slow" progress is still progress, and even if creativity is harder to summon and slower to arrive, it still must be summoned and put to good use. I work a full day on Thursday, and then the excitement of the weekend takes over, getting me over the finish line of Friday.
Like many working professionals, I work until about 1 pm on summer Fridays. I might write a single article in the morning, knowing that it's the last hard, creative thing I'll do for the week. Then I'll kick back and write this blog post, just about at low tide.
It's okay NOT to be creative all the time, and not possible. You have to use different parts of your brain, and different skills, as the week advances. I get organized later in the week, planning for the following week. I also network more toward week's end, as I find that many people share my erosion of creative energy.
It's important to know when you're most creative, so you can do your most important work then. I tend to schedule my hardest, most critical assignments for earlier in the week, and do my less-creative tasks later in the week. I try to monitor my energy and creativity as the week goes on, because it helps me make decisions about my creative capacity. I've even been known to take an occasional day off and go hiking, which helps me re-fill my stores of creativity. I like nature and quiet as a restorative for creativity -- which is why I always try to sit near a window. It's been a long week, and so I'll bring this post to an end . . .
When are you most creative, dear reader? How do you organize your work to take advantage of the times when you're most creative? Share below . . .