creative time

How to increase your productivity by choosing your creative time: morning vs. night for creative professionals.

Most creatives have a time of day or day of the week where they kick into high gear and crank out the work. We asked the Creatives Roundtable members when they are the clearest to get shit done.

60% of Creatives Roundtable members are morning people

I work really well in the morning after a good morning routine including coffee, reading, learning, and a “creative stretch” or warm-up. I also get spurts of creativity late at night. EMMA MCGOLDRICK

I do my best work first thing in the morning when I am clear on my schedule and the project work without running into too many interruptions. By the end of the day, it’s easier to lose that momentum. JEN LEONARDSON

After my coffee and morning walk, my mind is clearest to create! CHRISTINE RAINS

I am clearest first thing in the morning when I sit down at my desk and have the entire day in front of me. This is when I like to plan out my day, get my inbox to zero, and get to work. I also like having large chunks of time to work without interruptions, so I only schedule calls 10am-2pm Tuesday–Thursday. That leaves afternoons as well as Mondays and Fridays for complete focus and getting things done. JILL ANDERSON

I’m definitely a morning person, so I would say my mind is at its best early in the morning, the first few hours of the day/workday. That’s when I feel I bring the most creative energy to the table but I’m also able to lock in and get focused work done. REGGIE HOLMES

In the morning, after I’ve had my coffee—especially on a sunny day. Most days, I look forward to getting out of bed and getting right to work. LIDIA VARESCO RACOMA

I’m at my best early in the morning. If I can get to my desk by 6:30, before anyone else is up, it will be a good day. It often seems like what I can get done between 6:30 and 8 am would take me all day if I waited to start until after school drop-off. LIBBY VENTURA

In the morning, right after a workout, I get creative. The endorphins are flowing and I’m ready to conquer the day. Moving my body clears my head for sure. TARA HOOVER

I’m at the top of my game in the mornings. Not too early though, as I still experience brain fog at 6am, but 8-noon is the sweet spot. I try to schedule projects to take advantage of that “in the zone” time and opt to book meetings or tackle tasks that require less creativity in the afternoons. NADINE NOBLE

Although I’m not an early riser, I’m more creatively focused before lunchtime. I enjoy sitting down and getting the work done before additional asks evolve throughout the day. DEB DULIN

Usually, in the morning, I am most creative. I like to write articles for my blog or sketch out some ideas that have been percolating in my head for upcoming projects. JEANNINE PAPELINO

I am clearest in the morning after my morning routine of journaling, setting my daily goals, and working out. CASSIE BRKICH

20% choose the workday to get busy

My mind can focus best during the day when I have a defined creative project to work on. The more I focus on a project I allow the creative muse to direct my energy. CRYSTAL REYNOLDS

As much as I’d love to be a morning person who gets a lot done before lunchtime, I find that I really get into my groove in the afternoons. Whenever I get stuck, I take a walk or step away. Focusing on something else often brings clarity to my work in those instances. CARA CAPIZZI

I would say I am clearest mid-day, after putting out the fires of the day and lunch. NANCY CUTLER

10% are night owls

My mind is most creative at night but it really varies because creativity can strike at the most random moments. So I make sure to always write whatever idea comes to my mind when these come unexpectedly. KARLA PAMANES

I am most clear at an unusual time of the day, around 4-7pm. Everyone else wants a nap then, but I am really effective during those hours. I’m also at my best when I have ample time to sit with a problem. My brain really works on creative things in the background, and is great at connecting seemingly unconnected things for big leaps in clarity. //So with bigger creative problems or ones that need an especially unique solution, I can be very effective when I understand the scope of something and simply don’t work on it, at least not intentionally. Then, as I’m going about my life or day, I’ll connect a project and an inspiration and it will become clear as day in an instant. Sometimes you have to dig in and chip away, but sometimes leaving it alone for a bit be can illuminate new and interesting solutions. JENN COLE

10% choose the beginning or end of the week

I’m clearest at the end of the week. Our team puts in serious work so that come Friday, we can have creative team meetings, a nice lunch, and uninterrupted work because we know all well that our work is done for the week. It also helps to prep for the week ahead. LAURA CHEEK

Mondays – the “restart”, “refresh”, “tackle the world” feeling is the strongest and I feel like I can accomplish anything. However, Thursday afternoons, when the pressure is on to get my tasks lists done for the week, I kick it into overdrive, especially when it comes to writing my own materials. JENNY POFF

If you want to be part of the conversation, join the Creatives Roundtable Slack Community (our accountability groups are closed at this time).

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