It’s important to take advantage of your optimal creative time. If you hope to be more creative in your work and in your life, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the times when you feel most alive, filled with ideas, and in the flow of creative energy. For me, this is morning. It’s when I do most of my writing and it’s when I wake up with fragments of dreams and fresh possibilities on my mind.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, renowned expert in the field of creativity and author of several books, including the best selling, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, suggests keeping a personal log of peak creative times. As students in his creativity classes, we were each asked to notice and to record for one week our optimal times when we felt most in the flow of creativity. After recording our data for a few weeks, several students noticed a rise in creative energy associated with morning.
Here’s what works for me: As I awoke this morning, I watched light play on the windows. I noticed the shapes and shadows of camellia bushes moving in the sunlight. I felt the softness of my two animal buddies, Bodhi and Violet. I noticed the suppleness of fur and muscle and the shape of a small tail curling into what looked like a question mark. I let my mind be still, allowing images, ideas, and impressions to float like butterflies across the visual horizon. I heard a bit of music on 94.7, The Wave, Sade singing “Smooth Operator.” As a result, the idea for this morning’s writing came, a concept for a video interview appeared, and I got out of bed feeling confident, like anything might happen.
My mornings haven’t always been like this. It is a luxury to have this time. Maybe mornings aren’t right for you. But I believe that there is an optimal time to catch the creative ideas that move through our lives. Begin to notice when your time is.