Hi Bookish People,
One of the biggest improvements to my writing life came when I embraced the way I naturally worked instead of forcing myself to operate the way others did. In graduate school I was a bartender so I tried to force myself to adjust to a night schedule and wrote during slow business hours late at night. It was terrible. I spent two years with that schedule and was dependent on energy drinks and lots of coffee to keep my eyes open and I still naturally woke up before 7am. As a result my writing suffered.
It wasn’t until I moved to a regular 9-5 job that I realized that I don’t actually like to be awake late very often and flourish when I wake early. As I took on a challenge to write one million words in a year I had to strategize and optimize my creative time to get it all done and saw that my best working hours were in the early morning. I resisted this for a while because I remember growing up with a ‘morning person’ for a mom and decided that there was no way I could be that chipper when I’d rather still be in bed. Once I adjusted my sleep schedule and gradually shifted my waking time I found that I actually really like mornings (after a cup of coffee).
If you saw one of my latest posts I committed to pushing my waking time from 5:30 to 5am and I think it’s working out well to give me a longer period of uninterrupted work time before I’m distracted by others. As I work on editing, blogging, and engaging with new projects I want to maximize the amount of time I can spend on them and utilizing my best hours of the morning is the best way to do that.
I feel like most people will have a good idea of whether or not they function best at night or early in the morning but in case you don’t know then I’d suggest noting how you feel throughout the day. When you sit down to work in the morning do you have an easy time focusing or do you not settle into work flow until much later in the day? Do you notice a decline in focus as the day goes on? For me personally, I find that I can start writing before I even finish my first cup of coffee. By noon I am completely unable to pay attention to work.
Do you notice any particular patterns? They should give you a good idea of how you can modify your schedule to get the most out of your writing.
I know that it’s easy to feel resistant to the idea of waking up even earlier (even for morning people!) but once your adjust I think you’ll find it pleasant. For those of you who can stay awake until the sun rises I don’t think you’ll mind the excuse to stay up just a little later.
Whatever works for you just try not to sacrifice a good sleep schedule. Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. If you can’t do that and modify your schedule then I think that the extra hours won’t be worth it because of how too few hours of sleep can impact your ability to think optimally.
Have you changed your routine to coincide with your best working hours? I would love to hear about it in the comments. Be sure to follow the blog to keep up with my tricks for creative optimization and social media tips for creatives. You can always find me on Instagram where I update more regularly.