Not enough emphasis is put on how hard it is sometimes to get “in the zone” creatively. If you’re anything like me, that zone just happens at random times. Ideas rush in with complete disregard for other elements of my life. Driving in the car? Doesn’t matter. In a place where I absolutley cannot write anything down? Buh bye, ideas. Need to be sleeping and not writing 12 half blog posts? Creativity doesn’t care.
Finding your creative sweet spot is hard. Here are some tips of things I’ve found that have helped me get in the zone or adjust my schedule so that I can utilize my creative peaks wisely.
Go With When Your Brain Is On
I’ve often wondered why some people are morning people and some people are night people. I hit my creative sweet spot around 11:15pm nightly. Why? Why can’t my creative juices flow at an hour that I don’t have to be sleeping? This somehow never happens on weekends either. No no, just weeknights. On weekends I inevitably feel no pressure to write and am therefore incapable of forming a coherent sentence.
So a couple of times a week, I give in. I enjoy the free flow of ideas and accept the fact that I’ll be a little tired the next day. Sure, I’d love this moment to come earlier in the evening but I haven’t figured out how to make that happen. For me, the key is just accepting that one or two days a week, I’ll get a lot done at a weird hour.
Keep a Notepad Handy
Try to document the creative idea you had AND the time you had it. You may find that at certain times of day you are inspired either because your brain is just on at that time or because whatever you do during that time of day brings out your creativity.
Turn the TV Off
I wonder what percent of bloggers blog (or do other creative tasks) with the TV on in the background. If you’re anything like me, it’s 90% of the time (or more). Blogging is one task where multi-tasking just isn’t to your benefit. So even if you mute it for commercials or give yourself a 30 minute technology time out (from the TV, that is), chances are those times will be your most productive. It’s amazing what silence can bring!
Pour Yourself a Drink
Now I’m not saying that in order to be a super creative person or successful blogger that you have to drink. That’s just not the case. Though researchers have found that being just a bit buzzed does help get your creative juices flowing and leads to more “aha moments”. You can read more about the University of Chicago study and its results here. But as many bloggers have said before: blog drunk, edit sober.
Try a Manual Task
Sometimes busying your hands helps calm your mind. For others, this can be some of the best and most creative thinking time. For instance, I’ve found that putting together lego sets (something I’m strangely fond of as an adult) or doodling really gets my gears turning. Some people do some really good creative thinking when cleaning. Keep your notebook handy and your hands busy.
Know That There is a Good Chance You Haven’t Hit Your Creative Peak Yet
According to one study, people don’t hit their creative peak until they have lived about 62% of their total life. Since my average reader is a twenty or thirty something, there’s a good chance that you have not hit your creative peak yet. It’s coming! Rejoice!
What do you do to get in your creative sweet spot?