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Why Being Productive & Creative Isn’t About the Time of Day

Mornings are pretty cool. I like to see the sun hesitantly flow into the day. I like the feeling of being “there” sooner than anybody else. And of course of getting so much done before the rest of the world starts their day.

pouring milk in the morning sunlight

It’s a special, magical feeling both in Summer and Winter; Winters are dark here.

Then again, I also like the evening and night. Some of my best ideas come from that time. I used to think some of my best work comes from those time slots as well … but I’m no longer so sure.

I suspect that the idea that our best, most creative work happens late at night or early in the morning is somewhat like the illusion that your best work comes out of a bottle of red wine (artist), scotch (writer), or from a solid joint (can’t remember who this one would be).

Of course, neither morning nor night are special times. Maybe they correspond better with your active periods but that’s all.

Taken by themselves they don’t cause you to be happy, productive or creative. Taken by themselves these times can be downright depressing if you didn’t do what you wanted to do, didn’t accomplish anything.

What makes these times into Special Events for us, into Experiences, Moments We Lived, is that we look back and see; I did so much. Or; I finally really relaxed.

It’s not about the time – it’s about how you use live the time.

You’re given a richness of Time today. Unbuyable for those who’ve ran out or are about to.

How are you going to spend your Time today?

5 Responses to “Why Being Productive & Creative Isn’t About the Time of Day”

  1. Jon Says:

    I know what you mean there. Sometimes I love to stand by my French window when the sun is shining through to warm my feet. The whole atmosphere of the room seems different.

    I work some funny hours, simply because when I get started on something I find it hard to stop. Well, I do not even think to stop! Late at night I am most productive, but that is probably because I have been slowly building momentum through the day.

    When I wake up I am not focussed, it is more a matter of being reactive than proactive – reading emails, moderating and replying to comments, reviewing logs etc.

    Then I start to formulate a plan and spend time trying to work out how to do stuff. Then finally it all comes together and I work until I finish the job and go off to bed (don’t panic, there are breaks inbetween for all manner of things). Then when I wake up next morning, it all starts over again. But now is about dinner time, and the kids are sounding tired and probably want to play with their dad for a bit. Bye!

  2. Seth M. Baker Says:

    Hello Ruud, I just wanted to let you know I enjoyed this post. At first, when I read this I almost wanted to disagree with you, but you are right; we can be creative and productive any time of day. It’s all a state of mind.

    Yes, mornings are a special time. So many possibilities, a fresh mind, all that. But not doing what needs to be done just because of the sun’s positions does seem kind of silly.

    I would add that personally my own energy levels do wax and wane during the day, and I’ve learned to do less demanding tasks during the low points.

  3. Ruud Says:

    Good point to do less demanding tasks during low points.

    Time is a pretty cool gift :)

  4. Hervé Cassagne Says:

    Thanks for this relaxing post Ruud (nice picture, too). Ironically, the busiest times are not the most productive – on the creative point of view of course, but also in a way on the “production” side: when you get so overwhelmed with work you feel you don’t work well. It is much about a zen feeling, sort of. I’m trying to reach that point.

    The main thing for me is not night/morning, actually. It’s rather alone/not alone.

    Cheers,
    Hervé (morning, no one’s up yet at home : alone in the kitchen)

  5. Ruud Hein Says:

    You’re more productive alone?

    The photo is my youngest daughter years ago. I love how the shadow looks almost like a baby :)

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

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