Creative thinking can hit you at any moment. You might be driving along the road and suddenly get the inspiration that would shape your business or other work.
I love the moments, but since creativity is so critical to what I do on a regular basis, I’ve had to understand how I work best and when I can expect to be at my peak creative performance. As with any part of performance, whether it is physical, mental, or spiritual, it can be extremely helpful to know when you’re at your peak, and when you may not be doing your best.
Here are some of my favorite creative times of the day:
- First Thing In The Morning. When I first wake up, my mind is fresh and probably still spinning from any dreams I had. Dreams can be a great source of inspiration for some people, as your mind likes to eschew conventional wisdom (like the fact that you can’t really fly or that your best friend isn’t actually a celebrity). Using this time to just brainstorm new ideas as they come to you, before you get bogged down in the daily grind, can be a great way to find that perfect creative solution.
- In The Shower. I’ve mentioned before how much I love the shower for finding creativity. There’s something about the water and general ability to let my mind drift that comes up with some of my best ideas.
- During The Morning Commute. Similar to the shower, the morning commute is when I let my mind drift and dive into areas that might be more pressing than earlier in the morning. This is also a great time to listen to podcasts (if you’re walking/cycling/driving) or read a book (for those who can take public transit). These activities can spark something new in you as you learn more about the world around you.
- At Lunch. After what is usually a busy morning for me, lunch can be a great time to reflect on activities and decide what might be a solution to a nagging problem at work. Giving your mind a break has the proven benefit of increasing your efficiency later on, so actually taking a full lunch away from my desk is critical for this step.
- During The Evening Commute. Similar to the morning commute, the evening commute can be a great time to think and reflect. The difference from the morning however, is that I am usually thinking about the day’s events and focused more on work than some of my outside activities.
- Before Bed. Right as I’m getting into bed, my mind often starts to wander a little. These thoughts may be creative or they might just be random and not particularly connected, mostly depending on how much time I have dedicated to other tasks throughout the day. Busier days often lead to sheer exhaustion, but not always.
One thing to keep in mind is that I am inspired in different ways throughout the day. So, the morning might be the time when I think of creative ideas for long-term challenges, while during the day I might be focused more on attacking the short-term areas that came up at work.
For me, creativity ebbs and flows throughout the day, and I suspect that’s also the case for you.