I have been a freelancer since late last year. Working in this way takes some getting used to, not least because of the need to self-motivate and hold oneself accountable. And one of the things that has struck me as I’ve moved along my freelance path is the fact that my most creative times are not necessarily during my core hours or at the times I might have predicted I would be at my best.
Does anyone else find the same?
In my employed life, I was accustomed to attending a workplace on set days during set hours. Now, my hours are fluid and although I have weekly core hours in order to give my clients a period of time they know is unchangeable, as I expect most freelancers do, I find myself drawn to working at unsociable hours. Times like last thing at night when the children are in bed or first thing in a morning before the day has got into its stride.
In the early days of freelancing, I would sometimes find myself feeling unmotivated and flat on some days, but then at other times, even just a few hours into the evening, suddenly creativity and motivation would envelop me.
I read countless articles and motivational quotes telling me the top five ways to get motivated again and all of the helpful foods I could eat, but now I wonder if I was confusing lack of motivation with simply picking a time for my creative work that wasn’t the right time for me. And I wonder therefore, if we have two elements to our working week. One is the core. Our available hours. Our admin time maybe. Our client-facing time definitely. And the other is reserved for the magic, behind the scenes. It is where we seize the opportunity as soon as it hits us to work at those funny times when inspiration comes calling. It is where we find our peak.
Musings about the best time of day to work are not new. There are those who feel that early birds should reserve the early part of the day for their best work, and night owls the other end. There has also been research suggesting the opposite. I expect there will be yet more delving into this area as our working world continues to evolve but for now I remain intrigued and I expect I will carry on finding my odd times to bring out my creative side.