As you begin your first week of the Challenge, you may be struggling with how to fit writing into your day. But it’s not enough to fit it into your day you also have to find the ‘perfect time’ in your day to write. It’s important to find what works for you but it’s equally important to recognize when you are the most focused, creative and motivated.
I let my internal alarm clock wake me up this is usually around 7-7:30 am. I make a cappuccino, and I start writing. I write for about 90 minutes. Then I stop for 15 minutes to make breakfast. I return to writing for about another 90 minutes. Yup, I’m still in my pj’s. After 3 hours of writing, I then have a shower and move on with my day. That may include more writing, or not, but those first 3 hours rarely change.
The house is silent, no TV, no internet. I won’t even answer the phone during this time. If my mother or girlfriend calls, I can easily lose an hour. I let the machine pick up, and I’ll call them back later.
Why is this so important?
It’s critical to find the time in your day when you can write without interruptions but also when you are mentally ready to write. My peak time is the morning. This is when I feel the most focused to write. I rarely write in the evening. I save that time, for research or getting myself organized for the next day.
Don’t squander that time by answering emails, or perusing Facebook posts. When you take this approach, you are saying that liking that post or answering that email is more important than your writing time. Tell yourself and the world that writing is a priority for you.
Don’t let your peak writing time be depleted with items that can be dealt with later.
Don’t waste these periods of peak creativity and productivity. If writing is important to you, if you want it to be a priority, then it’s important to find that time and protect it against intrusions.
If you’ve identified your peak time use it in the best possible way.
How to Find Your Peak Writing Time
- Consider tracking your focus, energy and motivation over the first week of writing. If you can track it for 3 weeks that would be ideal.
- Write at different times of the day, if you have that flexibility.
- Each time you sit down to write, after you’ve finished writing rate your focus, creativity and motivation on a scale from 1 to 10. Even after just one week you’ll see some results.
- Keep in mind, that if your focus dips, it might not mean it’s time to quit writing for the day, but that you simply need a short break.
- Also remember coffee, lack of sleep, an different kinds of food can all have effects on your focus, energy and motivation (This is why writers always talk about coffee). Make a note in your tracker, so you can see what is affecting your periods of focus and creativity.
- After a week or longer, zero in on the periods in the day where you feel most creative and focused and if there are any stimulants that help it along, like coffee, or exercise or food.
If you are a morning person then prepare yourself the day before, don’t waste your 90 minutes deciding what you plan to write today and finding your research for that ancestor. It works best if you make it your morning routine. Make it a habit.
Your family heads off to bed, and your head to the computer. This is perfect for night owls. Turn off the TV, no Jimmy Fallon. You might be amazed what you can get done between 10 pm and 12 pm.
For those that work, you may have to get up earlier, to fit in those 90 minutes or Night owl hours might work better for you.
Of course, there are other times that you may have to use for writing, the middle of the day when the kids are napping, on your lunch break at work or your commute to and from work. You have to look at your individual circumstances and come up with a time that works best with your schedule and with your peak creative hours.
But once you find it, guard it with every ounce of your being. And make your peak writing time a precious and important part of your day.