What’s Your Most Productive Time of Day?

There are those of us who love mornings, those who love staying up late, and those who find the 10AM-2PM window their favorite time of day.

TimeWhen we hear “work hours,” the tendency is to think “8 to 5.” And that may be the case more often than not (especially when juggling your business with a family that has a set schedule), but when working for yourself, the hours can blur into each other, and it can be easy to work long hours every day.

As a writer, I think it’s crucial to find the times where you  are most creative — those sweet times where you and your muse are working in tandem. There is definitely something to the mantra of “show up at the keyboard every day” in order to build a habit. If you show up ready to work, you’re going to pull your muse in, too.

If you show up at the keyboard during your ‘peak’ creative times, just imagine what can happen!

For me, early morning used to be the best for creativity. Now it’s more 10-2. After 3PM and I’m not very creative. I plan my writing accordingly.

If you’re finding yourself struggling to meet deadlines or finish projects, test out new schedules. Start by trying various 2-hour window combinations to see if there is some chunk of time where your productivity soars. (Note where your productivity wanes, too.)

If you’re running your own business and have flexibility in creating your own schedule, you owe it to yourself to find the timing that works best for you. There is nothing that says you have to run your business “like everyone else.”

By improving your productivity, you’ll be able to make more time for billable hours and achieve your writing goals with a little more ease.

Do you know when you’re most creative?

Lisa_2015Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

26 thoughts on “What’s Your Most Productive Time of Day?

  1. I do most of my writing in the morning between 8-12, but I don’t really have a choice in the matter! I work at my day job in the afternoon, so I only really have the mornings to work on my books. When I’ve had days off I’ve tried writing in the afternoon, but the words usually flow more easily in the morning. I don’t know if that’s because I’m used to writing at that time, or because I’m more creative then.

  2. A famous writer–I truly wish I could remember his name–once said ‘I write at the time I am inspired. Fortunately, that time begins at 9:30 every weekday morning.’

  3. You are so right! I know my best time is between 9 am and 1 pm, but I’m working for a number of clients, and have to drive to their various locations at hours I have no control over. So now it’s 3 pm, I actually have a precious break before leaving again. So I could … maybe start a new post, but Muse is painfully absent. You’ve reminded me I have to work at finding a way around this 🙂

  4. Pingback: What’s Your Most Productive Time of Day? – Becca, Brewing

  5. My most productive time of day depends on what I am working on. A mystery/thriller? 6pm-11pm. A speculative fiction piece? 5pm-8pm. Website content? 9-2. Reblogged on @beccabrewing.

  6. Well, I’m never “productive.” I’ve always looked at this as a sort of an off putting and industrialized way of conceiving existence and human work, as, basically, a function of how much over a given amount of time—like a Model T Ford assembly factory. It does imply quite directly being “unproductive,” too, which is a terribly noxious notion and axe to live under. I’m much more of “in the flow” sort of person, the way Csikszentmilhalyi writes about it at length in his book called “Flow.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mihaly_Csikszentmihalyi. And, in that respect, I tend to follow the natural rhythms of a farmer, or a monk even, rising very early before the morning light to work (when the mind has special sort of spectral looseness), and going to sleep pretty early.

    • I enjoyed Csikszentmihalyi’s book on the idea of “flow.” Interesting to speculate about what brings us all to the state of flow that we desire for our work. When I find it, I can get a lot done, though it is difficult for me to get there, for one reason or another. For those of you who write every day, how do you start/continue on your projects? Do you require “thinking” time, or do you just start writing and see what happens?

  7. I completely relate to this. My brain cranks out words and ideas from 9am to about 1pm. I know this about myself and I know that being productive gets me to my writing goals. Thanks for the post.
    -N

  8. well .. for me its hard to say with full time job and one part time course, I have no choice but write late in night. My most productive hour is on Saturday mornibg.. with smell of my morning coffee..

  9. I used to write whenever I felt inspired. That lead to weeks of nothingness. I just made myself a writing schedule so I am not sure what is my most productive writing time yet. I do know that making myself get up and go to my office to write everyday has helped me stave off the writing lull.

    My energy ebbs and flows so for me it might be different times each day that are more productive. I will have to see how my scheduled writing time experiment goes. Thanks for the info.

  10. I am not sure what my most productive time is…but I know when I am really unproductive. This is from about 2:30 to 6. I am so tired at this time. The funny thing is, if I get past this, I can stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning and still wake up at 5:30.

  11. Put me down as another morning writer. For me it seems to be a matter of getting my engine running before the day sucks all the positive energy out of me. If I get into the groove by 8am (and am flexible on timing that day), I could keep writing until dinner or even after. But if I get bogged down in emails and meetings and work stuff and trivial stupid everyday grumble grumble grouse… and it gets to be 2pm and I haven’t gotten into the groove yet, forget it, the engine’s not starting that day. So I try to clear more boring stuff off my to-do list for the rest of that day so I can focus clean and fresh the next morning.

  12. I honestly have no set time when I feel “productive” as a writer. I write when the mood strikes me, or as quickly as I can afterwards if I am busy with something else or driving around. I find that spontaneity helps me to write some of my best posts. Whenever I try to force myself onto a schedule, my blog becomes nothing more than a summary of the day up to that point. While useful as a writing exercise. it doesn’t feel as wonderful as pure writing where my mind takes over my fingers and i get lost in myself.

  13. I’m most productive from 5:36 PM – 9:14PM and 2 AM – 4:24 AM. I don’t know what about these weird times that gets my writing mojo cranking, but it does.

  14. About mid-day, I hit my stride, sometimes earlier with enough coffee. Like writing until it’s time to make dinner but don’t always do that. Morning writing is also nice, again with coffee.

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