My creativity sweet spot: early morning

2013 February 20
by Grace Boyle

It’s 7:00 AM on a Sunday morning and my eyes pop open. I still feel a little tired, but I know I’m not going back to bed.

I am/have become a morning person.

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Subsequently, I’m so not a night owl. Maybe it’s stress from the work week or a hard workout in the evening, but we’re usually in bed by 10:30 PM by the latest on weeknights. Sleep is one of those free, tried and true beauty and health secrets. I’m all about it.

Right now I sit cross-legged on our couch, facing the windows and rising sun as I have opened the blinds. The world around me is still. Occasionally I hear a bird chirping (is that Spring I hear)?

I have only come to realize recently, that early morning is my creative sweet spot. Between 7 and 9 AM (give or take).

I can only describe it as such: my mind starts to buzz, ideas begin circulating, I’m aware and alert, I feel calm and I’m armed to face anything.

During this time, I also enjoy the solitude of the morning – I am free of distractions.

“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” ~Rollo May

As I’ve begun to grasp this creative sweet spot for me, I get to work particularly early and jump start my day. If it’s a weekend, I write in the mornings, I jot down ideas or I use that silent time to get things done that require extra attention and sharpness. I literally feel like an invincible bad-ass during this time.

Similar sentiments are shared around where you feel most creative. Is it your favorite trail in the woods, your kitchen or in the shower?

Fast Company author, Ron Friedman, describes it as the bathroom:

If you’re like most office employees, access to sailboats, the countryside and a relaxing couch is in short supply. A walk to the bathroom is one of the few opportunities you have for disengaging, letting go of trivial details and refocusing on the bigger picture–even Steve Jobs recognized the bathroom’s potential, insisting that Pixar only build two in its studios, to provide employees with maximum enforced mixing. Neurologically, it is during these moments away from your desk the right hemisphere of your brain comes to life, making you more appreciative of the forest and less sensitive to the trees.

Whenever the time and wherever the place, I believe we need to understand what works for us. I take advantage of the early morning and if I’m planning my week, I carve out this time so it’s available. Awaiting me. Ready to envelope me.

What’s your creative sweet spot?

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  • http://hersilentmusings.com/ Lauren Michelle

    I hate to say it, but I think my creative sweet spot is about 10:00-11:00 at night when I should be going to bed. The reason I hate to say it is because I’d really rather be a morning person than a night owl, but I’ve ALWAYS been a night owl. I blame it on my dad, who apparently tried to keep me up as long as possible when I was a baby so I wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night. I guess being a night owl wouldn’t be such a bad thing if I could still wake up in the mornings to get to work on time, but I can’t. If I stay up too late the night before and have to be at work by 8:00, I’ll probably get a migraine, then proceed to have an extremely crappy day. You see, I like mornings, I just have a hard time waking up for them, and I’m still fighting the idea of being a night owl forever, so I keep telling myself I need to change my ways and become a morning person.

    But the truth is that my brain starts churning and wanting to work when I’m in bed trying to sleep, because that’s the only time I get total silence.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

    Night owl is so common! Nothing wrong with that :) It’s good to know when it is for you at least, right? My boyfriend is much more vibrant and into the late hours of the evening – it’s just his style. It’s only hard for me because that time I’m burnt out. If I had nothing going on all day I probably would enjoy the evening even more but usually I can’t muster much creativity. Silence – whenever you can find it – is golden. Thanks for sharing and stopping by :)