How to be more productive as a creative
And why Mondays don't suck anymore
It was Monday morning again and I’d scheduled in time to write some blog posts. Usually I love writing, seeing the story form in front of your eyes. Refining it like a gardener pruning a bush into a pleasing shape. But today I’d been noodling around at the edges of it all morning, feeling busy but not really getting anywhere. Essentially killing time until the weekly check in with my coaching group.
“So how is your day going?” The coach went around the Zoom room asking each of us. And that’s when I admitted it for the first time -
“I feel creative as a brick on Mondays.”
The coach didn’t offer me any solutions, swiftly moving on to the next person but there was a relief in simply saying it out loud.
There’s something therapeutic about acknowledge you have a problem. Somehow giving it oxygen starves it of oxygen too. It takes away some of the anxiety around it and the pressure. It gets you thinking.
Until that day I had organised my week by importance. My creative tasks like blog writing and brainstorming were right at the start because they were the most important to me and I thought if I achieved them early in the week I’d go into the rest of the week feeling accomplished. But it never seemed to work out that way.
Somehow I was always still doing the creative work midweek. All the other things I needed to do were getting shunted into the next day and the next, ending in a mad dash at the end of the week.
It wasn’t a case of not having enough time as everything was scheduled in my calendar. For some reason it was just taking longer than it should. I felt frustrated that I wasn’t getting enough done to achieve my goals.
Once I finally admitted my creative flow was out of whack I started scanning through the past month on my calendar and I noticed a pattern. I hadn’t gotten far with any of my creative tasks on Mondays all month. In fact when I thought about it I remembered feeling a distinct lack of imagination on those days. It seemed I was achieving very little on Mondays and it was affecting the rest of my week. So I decided to stop fighting it and go with the flow.
I rearranged my calendar. Now I don’t do the creative stuff till mid week, when I actually have the creative headspace to get it done. That way I achieve more and enjoy doing it too. Which leaves Mondays free for catching up on admin and other tasks requiring less imagination.
I wonder if you looked at your own week are you more creative on particular days?
Do you get more done at the start or the end of the week?
Maybe you enjoy being creative more in the middle of the week?
For you it might be a certain time of day that you’re more creative. Rather than a time of day it might be after you’ve done a particular thing like meditating, going for a walk or doing exercise. Keeping a journal or diary and making notes of your best/most productive times will help you see the patterns and then you can use them to your advantage.
How could you change up your calendar so you can make the most of those times or days when you have more access to your creative flow? It’s amazing what you can achieve when you go with your creative rhythms.
Now I know it’s not always possible to completely control your calendar so if you need to get into your flow at a time when you’re not feeling it check out 3 ways to tap into your creative flow.