There is an increasing trend among solo creative pros and small business owners — a structured morning that aides productivity and creativity. Here’s how two prolific creatives make it happen.
Armin, a blogger and graphic designer, is an early riser, usually up at 5:00am. After a quick coffee, he dives right into his work, getting a solid hour before the kids wake up.
“I roll out of bed and I’m literally at my computer working. But if I’m not done [with the day’s blog posts] by 6:30, the whole day is screwed up.“ admits Armin
Joel, an illustrator & cartoonist, also wakes up early, matching his partner’s schedule, minus the commute and traditional 9-to-5.
“I’m a creature of habit, absolutely … I get up with [my girlfriend]. There’s about half-an-hour to an hour of warm-up drawing for myself first. Then I dive into the production for the day” says Joel
The morning is a time to purposeful work for both Armin and Joel. For Joel, it’s a chance to start the day on his terms, having a nice breakfast and working his social media outlets. Armin will tackle the main blog posts for the day, saving the deluge of email for evening hours.
The Importance of a Workout
Exercise is a key component to a productive day for both Armin and Joel, as well as many successful and disciplined pros of late.
Armin is an avid marathon runner based in Austin, TX.
“We take the girls to school, then I go for a run. [My wife] Bryony will sometimes schedule her runs in the calendar. If I don’t run, I try to go outside and play basketball.”
Joel, based in Nova Scotia, Canada is consistent with his workouts, but shifts to later in the day.
“My workout time is usually lunchtime. I try to run outside, and in colder weather noon-time is the warmest part of the day.”
While there is an apparent trend in creative pros becoming early risers, the practice is by no means mandatory. Many prefer to work the “late shift” and stay up past midnight surrounded by their work. To these folks, the thought of a 9am meeting — let alone a 5:30 alarm clock — seems absurd. And that’s ok.
The takeaway is this: you have to create your own system for mornings. The time is too precious to simply play defense and see “how the day goes.” Instead, experiment with the types of tasks you do first, to see if you prefer one type of work ahead of another.
What do your mornings look like? Do you have a regimented wake-up and start time? Do you eat the same foods or work out in an identical way every day? Add a comment to let us know.