Finding Your Own Creative Prime Time
In broadcasting – radio and television – we hear the term prime time used often. So what at all is prime time? Prime time is the period of the day when audience viewership or listenership peaks or is at its highest.
The broadcasting industry has spent years and millions of dollars researching what is the prime time for their industry. Why is this information important to the industry?
For one, television stations cannot create stellar programs all throughout the day. Resources are always limited just as in business as they are in life. So, they need to know what to put their best resources to and what times of the day to showcase them for maximum benefit.
This information also helps broadcasters price spots for commercials. And advertisers can evaluate how to get the best bang for their buck.
In my FREE ebook, “Shave Time off to Create”, I talk about working on your creative projects during your creative prime time for the same reasons broadcasters put their best shows and important news at the prime time.
Just like broadcasters, we don’t have unlimited resources. For one thing, we all are limited by time. Secondly, since we’re humans we’re limited by our energy levels. Our energy levels ebb and flow throughout the day.
All creative time is not made equal. Some are better than others. The best way to get the most creative work done is to schedule creative work at the time of day when our energy levels are high.
It’s not about working long hours. It’s about working smarter hours.
But how do you find your personal creative prime time?
3 Ways to Find Your Personal Creative Prime Time
- Make Finding Your Creative Prime Time A Priority
Although you may be very busy, that doesn’t mean you’re being effective. Pausing to figure out how to better use your time will yield much better results than trotting along the current path without making much progress.
So make the time to figure this out. The resulting information is well worth the research and time required.
- Track Your Time and Take Note of Your Energy Levels
In order to know your peak times or creative prime time, you need to track your time and your energy levels.
Do you have more energy early in the day or later in the day? Track this over a period of time and notice the patterns. Your personal internal rhythms will vary from another person’s.
- Break Up Your Day into Creative Bursts
Our brains can only take so much before we need a break. No matter how much time we can carve out for ourselves, we can’t push our brains beyond what they can take.
Science has shown that our brains work in rhythms (the Ultradian Rhythm). This rhythm follows a pattern of periods of concentrated focus followed by rest and then focus again.
So for this reason, don’t plan on working for long periods of time without taking breaks. Periodic short breaks and intermittent long breaks are important for helping us stay focused.
If you pay attention, you’ll notice that after a certain number of hours, you can no longer focus.
That’s why you need to track your time and find your rhythm. (Typically it’s a 90 minute period of focus and then you’ll need to rest). When you find it, don’t push yourself beyond that point. Stop and take breaks. You’ll get more done that way.
Divvying up your creative projects into creative buckets helps you to work in creative bursts as opposed to long unproductive work periods.
In describing his book, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, Tony Scwartz says “Rather than running like computers at high speeds for long periods, we’re at our best when we pulse rhythmically between expending and regularly renewing our energy.”
Final Thoughts on Finding Your Creative Prime Time
In conclusion, find your creative prime time. Prioritize each creative bucket in your project according to the energy levels you have. Match the most important creative bucket to your highest energy level. And you’ll get a lot done in a relatively short amount of time.
Remember: Work on the most demanding creative buckets during times when you have the highest energy.
Get the FREE eBook
You want to make time for your creativity. You know you need to practice more. But you just can't find the time. Grab the free ebook and transform your busy life to a creative life.