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After a while, however, I noticed a few things about myself:
- I worked really well in the morning. Something about starting the day off with a streak of productivity put me in a good mood for the rest of the day.
- As the day went on, I got progressively lazier. Well, maybe lazy isn’t quite the right word, but as my energy levels drained, so did my motivation to do anything.
- If I had to go out for any reason, especially for work or school, I absolutely did not want to do anything when I returned. I just didn’t have the energy to even try. So, basically, if I got up at 8AM and went to school at 9, the rest of the day was shot as far as productivity was concerned.
So while this 8-midnight schedule worked okay for several years, after taking a year off from school and then later gearing up for a back to full-time school schedule, I realized if I really wanted to continue to get writing work done, I was going to need to get up earlier.
I mean, hypothetically I could try to work after classes, but I already knew from past experience that I wouldn’t want to. And trying to write when you’re exhausted and unmotivated? It sucks.
So despite the fact that the mere thought of getting up before dawn made me cringe, I changed my sleep schedule. I started going to bed between 9-10 and getting up between 5-5:30. After a few days of trying out my new schedule, something weird happened.
I realized I liked it.
Getting up between 5 and 5:30 gives me roughly three hours of free time before I have to leave for classes on my earliest days, and gives me plenty of time to get loads of things done before noon on the weekends. It’s now pretty common for me to check off everything I need to get done in a day before 11AM and have the rest of the day to write or edit or whatever else my heart desires. I’ve kept to this schedule during breaks and weekends and I plan do continue it over the summer because quite frankly? I work so much better in the morning than I ever did at 8 or 9 PM.
That being said, not everyone is like me. I have many writer friends who do their best writing between 10-2AM. I’m not going to say being a morning person is the only way to be a productive writer, but I do think that paying attention to yourself and figuring out when is the most productive time for you is important.
Maybe for you that time will be after midnight, or maybe, like me, it’ll be before the sun rises. But whatever it is, I encourage you to listen to your body and figure out what your zone is, because once you start hitting it consistently, you’ll be surprised just how much you can get done.
Do you know what your most productive writing time is?
Do you know what your most productive writing time is? @Ava_Jae discusses how she discovered hers. (Click to tweet)