• Lucy Jackman

The best time to get creative



I am not a morning person. When I was a teenager my parents bought me a sign with Garfield the cat on it that said, “I don’t do mornings” . I wish I’d never parted company with that sign! Some people grow out of it – I didn’t. It’s a personal preference. I am rarely creative or productive in a morning.

Given my love of slumber, I’m pretty excited by the concept of Sleeptember. I’ve finally got an excuse to have some extra power naps this month! Sleeptember is promoted by the Sleep Council to encourage people to get a good night’s sleep and talk about the benefits of sleep for our health and wellbeing.

I’ve been reading up on the Sleep Council’s website about Sleeptember. It has loads of tips on how to get a better night’s sleep for people all ages. If you’re struggling, check it out.

Over the last three years, I’ve adapted my work life to fit in with my own rhythm and routine. Monday mornings and Friday afternoons are for catching up on admin. These aren’t creative times of day for me so I avoid writing and focus on tasks that don’t need as much brainpower. I need to harness my creativity in the afternoon or evening to write web copy, blogs, CVs and LinkedIn profiles for my clients. I also use my creativity to grow and develop my business.

We are all creative in our own way

I don’t subscribe to the theory that some people are creative and some are not. We are all creative in our own way. You can be creative in the way you support clients or with processes and procedures. Creativity isn’t all big bold new concepts and innovative designs.

When are you at your most creative?

The answer will be different for everyone. In order to be creative you generally need to be free of distractions, feel relaxed, and not have too much on your mind. I come up with some great ideas whilst driving or in the shower - two prime times I can’t get to my blogging notebook or phone to write them down, which is highly inconvenient!

I read an interesting post by another copywriter on LinkedIn the other day. He ended his post by asking a question (a great way to encourage comments, by the way); the question was “where do you prefer to write?” I knew instantly what my answer was – a warm, quiet room with a window. My office looks out on to my wonderful garden, which is a constant inspiration to me. I need it to be warm so feel relaxed. I need to concentrate fully on my writing so having other people around tends to slow me down. I am easily distracted, unless I’m on a deadline! I’m very lucky because I can fulfil all these requirements in my home.

Channel your creativity when it suits you

I have early bird and night owl friends. I often chat with the night owls on social media late at night whilst working. It's good to know there are other people who work in the same way. A late night deadline is fabulous for focusing the mind! If you are a morning person, your most creative time could well be those first few hours after you wake up.

Here are a few of my own tried and tested tips for getting creative:

  • Music– Sometimes the right music is all you need to get the creative juices flowing.

  • Change location – Don’t be chained to your desk. Try out a different workspace and you might discover a new and inspiring creative environment. I’ve tried coffee shops, meeting rooms, co-working spaces, outdoors, the sofa and various rooms in the house.

  • Weekends– If you don’t mind a spot of weekend working every now and again, find a quiet hour in your day, take advantage and use the time wisely. You’ll be more relaxed on a weekend, which is more conducive to being creative. Just make sure you keep that work life balance in line.

  • Come back later – If it’s just not happening for you, walk away and come back to it later. Take a power nap, go for a walk, do some chores. Clear your mind and start afresh later. That illusive idea might come to you whilst hoovering!

How are you creative in your role and what time of day are you at your most creative? Answers below please!

#timemanagement #creativity #productivity

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