I do my best work in the morning. If I can get working by 8am it’s going to be a good day. 7am even better. I usually feel like the day is slipping away by 11am, knowing that the bulk of my creative work had better be done by lunchtime.
Fast Company’s article, Why Productive People Get up Insanely Early by Paul DeJoe got me thinking that I should give myself even more of that sweet-spot morning time. 4:30 seems extreme and bordering on mad, so I’ve set my eyes on 6am. I know my body’s not going to like it if I do that cold turkey. So my plan is to to gradually work up to it. I’ll set the alarm for 6:45 for a couple weeks until that starts to feel natural, then 6:30…6:15…6am! My magical hour of productivity!
DeJoe hits the nail on the head when he talks about those early morning hours being free of pressure and expectations. I love not feeling rushed, because I’m already ahead of the game. No pressure, no ticking clock, no expectations; these things are necessary when I’m doing creative work. If my inbox is buzzing or household errands are knocking around my head, it’s hard to let go and take my time with a project. Shortcuts and sloppiness become oh-so-much more tempting. But if I start at 6—that phone call I need to return won’t even become an option for 3 more hours. No one will expect a quick email reply. And there won’t be any fires to put out (I hope!).
A friend pointed out that my plan would be crushed by the upcoming “fall back.” I might just have to re-ease myself into it, but I think it will be worth it. There’s something appealing about creeping out to my desk with a cup of hot tea when it’s still dark out and getting into some fun new project. I’ll let you know how it goes. What time do you start working? When is your sweet-spot for productivity?