Help me built an inspiration battery
January 15, 2014 6:36 AM Subscribe
Like a lot of people, I juggle creative pursuits with a day job. Annoyingly, my daily period of greatest creative motivation occurs early in the morning and overlaps with about the first four hours of my work day. How can I transfer that energy to the evening, when I have more time?
Complication: I can't change my work or sleep schedules at all.
posted by elizeh to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I know the easiest solution is to wake up earlier to do my thing, but I can't. I have phase-delay insomnia and it has taken most of a lifetime just to train my body to fall asleep by midnight so I can get up at 6 a.m. for work--for me, going to bed at 9 is like going to bed in the middle of the afternoon for everyone else. My brain cannot do it. For a year I tried getting up at 4 to do my thing and it wrecked both my physical and mental health because I could not fall asleep any earlier no matter how tired I was--I just ended up being so sleep deprived I would doze off while driving and began having some really painful mental health problems. It had to stop.
Anyway. So sleep can't change. I always have my eye out for new jobs that could better fit my schedule, but it's not raining jobs, and I have a mortgage and student loans to pay off--so for now, the job can't change.
I do take notes during my "morning burn" but it's not enough to help me recapture the momentum during the long hours of the evening when I'm awake and the rest of the house is asleep and I can work undisturbed. The ideas are still there, but I can't seem to execute them as well as I can in the morning. The clarity is just gone. I can no longer see how the pieces fit together, and my output ends up being very fragmented and disconnected. I am not averse to the work--I do the work, but the output always feels flat and perfunctory compared to what I can produce on days off or weekends, when I can work in the mornings. When I can work in the morning, I produce more, I can sustain my concentration for longer, and the quality is much higher.
So how can I trick my mind into storing my morning burn until nighttime?