As I work with artists and creative business owners, the topic of time-management always comes up. Maybe you know exactly what you need to do to get your work propelled in the right direction, but you’re not sure when you’re ever going to fit it into your life.
I get it. This has really been challenging for me, especially since my schedule is always shifting depending on the day and the job I’m working.
Despite the inconsistencies in my schedule, though, I need to feel some momentum– like I’m working towards the goals that I’ve set for myself, even when there are a lot of other things on my plate. And what it comes down to, I’ve decided, is finding and utilizing peak creative times. Author and entrepreneur Jonathan Fields writes about this in his book Uncertainty.
Essentially, we all have really different times of the day that we do great work. Rather than fighting this, Fields writes that we should take note of this and use it to our advantage.
So, rather than using my morning time– when I’m the most creatively productive– to answer emails, scroll twitter, or go through mindless edits on a document, I should really use this time to do the things that take the most brainpower (writing, meetings, future planning). During my afternoon slump I can read internet articles, answer emails, or take a break to run errands, because these activities are less dependent on big brain and energy surges.
I like Fields thoughts on creative productivity, because they aren’t geared towards getting creative people to figure out how they can be working ALL THE TIME. Instead, it’s about figuring out how you can do better work, so that your down time is also more satisfying.
So, I’m experimenting. Hopefully working during my peak creative times will help me get better work done. Because, momentum breeds momentum.
Fellow freelancers: How do you plan your schedules? What works? What doesn’t?
Check out more great stuff about peak creation windows from Jonathan Fields.