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Does Your Body Clock Have A 'creativity' And 'productivity' Setting?

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I am willing to suggest that most of us in the CAC forum can label ourselves as something like "morning people", "afternoon people" or "night owls" (with a sprinkling of sub-categories like "Post-2nd-mug-of-coffee-people").

 

Can you associate better times of the day for creativity (or creative energy) and different times of the day when the focus shifts to producing? I am not attempting to fully separate the two...being creative and productive are not mutually exclusive by any means.  But has your personal body-clock identified times of the day when you are most creative and times of the day when you are better at cranking things out?

 

I'll go first (stands, faces the group seated around the virtual forum table, lights candle, and speaks):

  • I am a morning person...(3:30am riser/coffee drinker...don't hate me).
  • I am most creative until around lunchtime (best writing, drawing, jingle arranging, problem solving, etc.).
  • By 2:00pm, I need to be doing something with my hands (being productive) because the creative fuel starts running lower.

What does your personal body clock tell you?

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I tend to be more creative at night.  I think that as general content of the day's events starts sifting its way through my mind, I start contextualizing them and that results in a certain level of creativity I just don't have in the morning.  Productivity stays at an even level throughout the day--provided I get my caffeine and a little dietary boost.

 

I'm more of a nighthawk, but I think that's because I've adapted to my girlfriend's sleep schedule and habits more than anything else.  Otherwise, I can get up at any time and sleep at about any time.

 

Great topic.  Thinking about this stuff always helps with productivity and time management. :)

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I read an article about the first two hours of the day being the most creative as your brain is not fully concious.

 

I find I am the most creative when I am trying to get to sleep and ideas are bouncing round my head in no particular order. Always keep a pen and paper next to my bed.

I am night time person.

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6:30 am-7:30 is prime "noodling" time. The house is silent and there is something to be said for being half asleep and generating connections and synthesizing ideas of all kinds. If the day hasn't been too stressful, I can sometimes have another session before bed, about 10:30. I totally keep a sketchbook by the bed.

 

Best times for throwing are 7 am - 10 am, and 8 pm - midnight. The morning session is better for expanding ideas, or exploring new work. The night hours are better for straight production of something that has been planned ahead.

 

Writing turns out best when accomplished before lunch, but I seem to have the remnants of sort of a neural pathway habit established in college that gives me the ability to connect words passably after 8:00 pm. It's more work, though, and I can get unintentionally redundant.

 

I have ADD that was only revealed this spring, when my son was coded. So much of my productivity depends on my ability to create and maintain momentum, and tends to begin best after successful transition points in the day. I can "get doing" best after I get my son to school, after lunch, and after my kids' bedtime. I am no good for anything around 4:00.

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I'am getting up aroung 6.30 a.m., eat (extensive) breakfast (with my husband, who is a political scientist and gives me lectures during breakfast about everything that's going on in the world, for over 30 years now.... ) and then work in my studio from 9.30 a.m. till noon and, after lunch, from 2 p.m. to approx. 6 p.m. Working means throwing, handbuilding, shaping, glazing etc., the process part. The creative part comes after dinner, say 8 to 10 p.m., while drinking green tea and eating a bowl of fruits.

 

Saturday and Sunday is, mostly, non studio time but computer time, housekeeping, shopping and leisure.

 

Are you all working in the studio 7 days a week?

 

Great topic Paul!

 

Evelyne

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Are you all working in the studio 7 days a week?

 

Great topic Paul!

 

Evelyne

 

Evelyne,

I am in the studio everyday, mostly in the early morning.  On Sundays I really take it easy and take a break from getting my hands in the clay, but there always seems to be something that needs doing/considering even if it isn't producing.  I'd like to think that time is related to what Steven Covey would call "Sharpening Your Saw" (that is probably a whole new topic, right?)

-Paul

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I' m not sure you can separate the two . . . I often find myself doing the "creating" while "producing". Mornings tend to be more active, creative wise and productivity wise, afternoons tend to fall off (mental and physical fatigue), but evenings can be a second wind for both. I am part-time working, part-time potting, and part-time retired . . . and each of those has their own moments of creativity and production.

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Guest JBaymore

Are you all working in the studio 7 days a week?

 

No, I only do 10 days a week and try to limit it to about 36 hours per day. ;)

 

best,

 

..................john

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No;

I only work one day a week. Sundays. Saturdays I am bringing in the moose.[grocery shopping, laundry, housework]. Don't forget that I am not allowed to vacuum due to hip replacement.

Weekdays I teach high school. No work there right? I am only teaching art.

Being facetious here. Most evenings I work in the studio. Those mugs won't make and decorate themselves.

TJR.

I think the creative part comes sideways through the right side of my brain when I am not thinking about it.

T.

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Are you all working in the studio 7 days a week?

 

No, I only do 10 days a week and try to limit it to about 36 hours per day. ;)

 

best,

 

..................john

 

John . . . only 10/36? Must be slowing down in your older age. And, I bet you walk 10 miles to the studio everyday, barefoot in 6 feet of snow, etc.

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Gosh. What a question. I'm not sure that I have either setting, or a specific time for them! Being semi-retired and an "evening-class" potter, it doesn't make much difference. Since this question was first posed I've been looking inside my head and I still don't know! Must try harder. If I ever find out, I'll let you know.

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I have changed my work habits over the last few years, I use to start at 8.00 am now I start at 1.00 pm.  For some reason once I start working I don't want to stop and do other chores.  So I peruse the computer, exercise and do any house wifely duties  have lunch and then stay in my shop until my husband gets home at 5.30.  Weekends are pretty much the same schedule sometimes we have a goof off day, yesterday we spent the afternoon at a bar birthday party and then to another party.  Creative inspirations can come at anytime, waiting for one right now.       Denice

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My body clock is a tangled mess. Sleep-disordered, just as awake at 4 AM after sleeping all night as awake at 4 AM after working all night. See no patterns or differences for the sum total of what goes into my work process, be it clay or whatever.  Creativity and productivity are mutually linear, with off-ramps onto fractals. I tend to work in runs, and try to avoid stops and starts; am trying to cultivate the discipline to parse it out better, so as to not get too off kilter. It was torture for 30 years of working to somebody else's schedule. Now retired, I sleep when I need to and work when I want. Much better! I am beginning to see a significant uptick in my brain power and thought process for approaching creativity/productivity as a more natural extension of Self-in-the-World. Keeping a notebook or a notes app within reach 24/7 is invaluable.        

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Guest JBaymore

 

And, I bet you walk 10 miles to the studio everyday, barefoot in 6 feet of snow, etc.

 

 

Yup.... uphill both ways. ;)

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My body clock is a tangled mess. Sleep-disordered, just as awake at 4 AM after sleeping all night as awake at 4 AM after working all night. See no patterns or differences for the sum total of what goes into my work process, be it clay or whatever.  Creativity and productivity are mutually linear, with off-ramps onto fractals. I tend to work in runs, and try to avoid stops and starts; am trying to cultivate the discipline to parse it out better, so as to not get too off kilter. It was torture for 30 years of working to somebody else's schedule. Now retired, I sleep when I need to and work when I want. Much better! I am beginning to see a significant uptick in my brain power and thought process for approaching creativity/productivity as a more natural extension of Self-in-the-World. Keeping a notebook or a notes app within reach 24/7 is invaluable.        

 

@LeeU  I am still working at that other job that dictates much of my schedule...but I still love it.  On the other hand, I am rapidly approaching the time you describe where doing things on my own schedule will be "Much Better!".  Your post is very encouraging to me.  I particularly love your reference to  "natural extension of Self-in-the-World", that sounds like a paradigm shift to how many have defined retirement in the past. Kudos to you!!

 

-Paul

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9pm-2am i tend to be more creative, i am a night owl and even my work knows better than to schedule me before 10am cause i am brain dead in the morning. Its nearly 1 am and i just finished making some plant markers for a spring show and hopped online before i go to bed. I have clay to pick up in the morning for my wednesday night class so i got to get a few extra zzzzs cause i also have to teach an ipad class after that.

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It does not matter what 12 hours of the 24 you get your work done in.

I have less night energy now as an older person. I have to time shift my energy levels like at doing shows. My last one was set up 9pm to midnight and agian at 7 am -sell thru to 6 pm-after 3 days pack it up by 7.30 and drive at least two 1/2 hours-so thats buck it up and get it done time.

Often its like that-so studio hours are a snap.If you get up at 3.30 paul you must be toast by 7pm??

If I'm getting up at 3,30am I better be going Tuna fishing or I'm back to sleep.

I like the studio between 8-9 am and try to leave by 6pm-firing later does not count.-all days a week are the same except I try to spend some time with spouse on a weekend-usually Sunday. I work hard in cycles then take a breather-usually after a show for a few days.Its worse in late fall for the xmas season. I make a hole in summer now for more of what I want to do other than clay work.Summers especially ocean summer is short here. I need the sea to be able to play with clay.

Mark

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Things like shows, workshops, and travel can certainly run counter to our normal body-clock rhythms, but as you say we buck it up t get things done.  In these senior years, however, my body tends to complain a lot more when I do stuff like that.  I find myself actually scheduling down time after an event that has kept me up past my bed time (which is often around 8:30 or 9:00pm...I'm still human at 7:30pm but more zombie-like by 9:30pm :wacko: ).

 

I had not seriously considered changes in creativity levels and/or production levels on a seasonal basis, but what you described as your ocean summer seasonal change does remind me of changes I make subconsciously through the spring and summer.

 

-Paul

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Still need the day job for the dough so I'm up at 4 and go until 6:30ish. That's my daily throwing session and everything else is around that. I also have a 2 hour round trip commute so 50 hours a week is out of my control.  

 

I started this super early routine about 18 months ago out of necessity because I was not getting enough time in the studio but must admit that I am hooked on the early start and may start doing it on weekends and keep it up when I cut the day job loose. Then again I really only used to settle in to streaming in the evening, especially on weekdays, so its not like I am missing much by hitting the hay b4 10..  

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I seem to be able to shift as far as morning to night person-as far as clay work throwing in am works best so I can sun dry and trip in pm. I rarely go to sleep early unless I'm sick or played out.

If I'm at a show then its early up and early to bed. I can shift pretty easy but I have noticed many cannot. I took a guy to help me at a show who gets up at 4 am and sleeps at 8 pm. I noticed he fell apart like clockwork at 3 pm-like he hit a wall.At two show he could not work the cash register after 3 pm as he was to tired(zombie like)-he could not shift his sleep cycle.I had to give up on him helping. 

This is an area one never seems to discuss as to doing shows

I have found it much easier if you can shift your clock to whats needed as to resting. I am not a napper never have been as an adult but I can force myself if needed as I did this past summer in Alaska (never did get dark much  in July) on a float plane Grizzly bear trip to wilderness.

We went to photograph Brown bears working salmon with friends who have guided for 30 years-they invited a few friends and even though bears are not on the top of my list I could not turn this down.

So the day after selling pottery on The 4th we flew.

When its light to midnight you shift your sleep cycle or really get tired.

Mark

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@Mark C.

 

I understand shifting sleep cycles....your illustration of working shows and travel are great examples.  That ability to change gears from a more normal cycle of creating/making things varies in folks and I would suggest that it is a great topic to spin-off.  In the world of athletics, there are great sprinters and there are great long-distance runners but very few who are truly great at both.  From my experience with shows/exhibits, it helps to be a long-distance/marathon person...unfortunately, I am more of a sprinter (who hits that 3pm wall pretty hard).

 

When it comes to understanding your own body clock as it relates to creative times and production times, there may be an additional layer that looks more like the runner analogy.  I've not considered it in-depth, but it may be that we could associate production styles as sprinter vs. marathoner...and likewise with creative styles.

 

-Paul

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whoa in bed by 8, that is a little early. I find 9:30-10 is just fine and normally feel rested at 4. Wouldn't have normally picked this schedule but its fine and don't have the problem of hitting any kind of wall on energy during the day.

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I like that comparison of marathoners and sprinters, my husband and I both can stay up all night with no problems.  All of our friends crash and burn at 9.00, we usually go to bed between eleven and twelve during the week and get up at 7.00.  I think people can slowly change their sleeping schedule.   Denice

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