Have you ever noticed how you’re more alert and creative at different times of the day and even different times of the year?
I was thinking about this today because late autumn is my most creative time of the year. Chances are, if I come up with a big idea for a new approach to my business or for a story that I want to write or even for a project that I’m going to do with my kids, it’ll strike me in the autumn. That isn’t to say that I don’t get great ideas during the rest of the year, too, but for whatever reason, I tend to think bigger at this time of the year.
It’s the same during the day. My best writing happens either in the early morning or the early evening, so if I’m being smart about my planning, those are the times of day I reserve to write. After lunch I’m usually a little depleted, so I focus on stuff that needs to be done but doesn’t require a lot of creativity or thought to complete.
The point of this ramble is that part of being more productive and more creative is recognizing your own personal rhythms and then working with those rhythms instead of against them.
For example, if there’s a time of day when you aren’t geared up for being creative, but you are good at retaining and learning new things, that would be a perfect time to tune into Wealthy Web Writer to see what’s new.
Here’s what I recommend you check out (or reread) from last week …
Last Week on Wealthy Web Writer
Last Monday, Mindy talked about little victories and the importance of recognizing them when they come along because it’s the little victories that keep you motivated to keep going after your bigger goals.
In John Torre’s blog last Tuesday, he talked about using press releases to draw people to a website and to encourage them to provide their contact information. Press releases can be a great tool for driving organic traffic and increasing search-engine rankings, so make sure you talk to your clients about giving them a try. And try this strategy for promoting your own business website, too.
If you missed Nick Usborne and Steve Slaunwhite’s recent event, you can listen to the full playback or catch the highlights in our most recent Roving Report. You’ll find all sorts of great advice from Nick and Steve on succeeding as a Business-to-Business online copywriter.
Getting Into Your Groove
So, in keeping with the goal-setting and productivity themes that seem to tie in naturally with the ending of one year and the beginning of the next, my challenge to you this week is to discover your own productivity rhythms.
Day One: Get a small notebook and keep it near at hand throughout the day. Every hour or so, make a quick list of the things you did during the hour and note how you felt — eager, alert, present, or sluggish. Plan to do this every day this week so you can see patterns about what work you tend to do when and what your mindset is like while doing it.
Day Two: Review your list from yesterday before you make your to-do list and schedule for the day. Make adjustments to your schedule so that your most mentally-challenging work coincides with the times you think you’ll feel most eager or alert.
Day Three: Compare days one and two. Which day did you feel like you got more done? Did the quality of your work change at all between days one and two? Look for patterns starting to form regarding what time of day you’re at your best. Refine your schedule to take advantage of those times.
Day Four: Make a list of things you need to do during your week that don’t take a lot of mental energy. For me, this would include things like paying bills, generating invoices, organizing my desk, and reviewing industry news. Today, schedule those things during the time blocks when you feel you’re least productive.
Day Five: Look for ways to boost your mental clarity during the day, so you’ll have more blocks of time where you’re feeling eager or alert. When you start to feel like you’re just present at your desk instead of actively being productive, pause and do something to boost your energy. This could be five minutes of stretching, a couple of yoga poses, some light acupressure, or a quick walk around the block. Remember to drink water and eat regularly, too. The point is to try to turn your sluggish times into something more productive. When you can’t, tackle those things that you can still do well even when you are sluggish.
Give these steps a try this week or next week after the holidays and see if they don’t help you do more — and do it better.
I’ll be off next Monday, so look for your next “15 Minutes to Fame” in two weeks. In the meantime, check out this great Wealthy Web Writer opportunity and have a great Thanksgiving!