When is the Best Time to do Creative Work?
Setting up a schedule to tackle your Most Creative Work (MCW) can take years to establish, and by the time you have that routine in place something is going to change in your life that will likely throw a curveball into your routine.
Lark or Owl?
Usually, the biggest point of discussion on this topic is around chronotypes and identifying if you are a 'morning lark' or 'night owl'. This is tricky because a lark who is able to think very clearly early in the morning might have a job that requires them to be out of the house by 6:30am. Likewise, someone who plays a loud instrument like the sax might have trouble writing music on their instrument of choice if they can only get to it at 10pm and they have neighbours that are sensitive to this sound.
My personal experience was one of being a night owl in my early 20s, and then by my early 30s I had converted myself into someone who goes to bed early and wakes before dawn.
Do the Work Regardless
I have the feeling that doing your Most Creative Work is ultimately a factor of being able to focus and turn off distractions so that you can adjust to doing this at any time of day. In order to do this, it might require some time in a reset mode with a relaxation technique, or by spending time filling up on inspiration.
In the case of people who have extenuating circumstances like the sax player, you have to find ways to continue practising your art in the face of environments that are against your favour. This person might need to try something like an electronic wind controller so they can play silently. If you're a writer you might want to invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, or if you're a painter you might need to try using a tool like Procreate on the iPad.
Consider Online Coworking Arrangements
There are fantastic options for putting your butt in the chair these days without having to leave your home. Focusmate is the most simple of these tools as you can be paired up with a partner at any time of the day. Caveday is another good option if you want a more structured environment with lots of people and social interaction. I have used both tools and can say that they are great options for finding accountability in a convenient manner.
Be Open to Surprises
Be careful to bemoan new limitations that have been put on you, and try to find the benefits around shaking up your ideal routine. A musician who loves to write music in the morning when they're full of energy might take to writing relaxing music if they can only do this at night time, and maybe after this sort of 'warm up' they are able to return to writing the same music that they would in the morning. Switching up your routine can unlock all sorts of creative benefits.
When do you work best? Did you ever have to adjust your practice so that you can adapt to changing circumstances in your life?