When Do You Do Your Best Work?

When do you do your best work?

Is it in the evening, first thing in the morning with coffee,  after work, 4 in the morning (I know a self employed designer that works like this) or during a full moon? I think it’s important to reflect upon. Save yourself time & get more done.

At a Red Bull info session, I asked Flying Lotus what time of day he wrote his music, and he replied with “in the morning”. Who knew? I believe it had something to do with demands of his living situation, but regardless I thought it was interesting. I would bet that isn’t when most of us do our writing.

Although I am not saying it is the best time for you, I have heard from business success experts such as Tony Schwartz that it is best to do your highest priority tasks earliest in the day. This is apparently because you have the most will power at the start of your day, and it depletes as the day progresses. Makes sense to me, and I certainly find this true with non-music tasks. Weather this applies to music would be interesting to study as well.

Historically, I’ve found that personally I tend to do my best work (in the case of first starting a track) on a Friday night. Ill stay up late until I’m burned out on the thing (for the time being), sleep (refresh my ears), then work on it on and off throughout Saturday and Sunday, then leave it alone for a week. This gives a bit of objectivity on the mixdown and programming. After that time I’ll make necessary tweaks and go play it on a bunch of different systems and in a club, then make final tweaks. This is by no means a perfect process, but it just seems to be how I’ve written most of my music. Sometimes I’ll write with my bud Atma and we’ll start in the morning, then go till around dinner. That works well for collaborations between us.

Most of us have schedules, and thus try to fit in as much music time as our lives allow, so any time is valuable time. But if you do have time available – consider experimenting with when you write or practice performing and investigate the results.

I’ve written previously about some ideas on how to overcome writers block, but I think this is the flip side of the coin. Of course, everyone is different, and may even perform differently day to day, but I think it pays off to find when you are most productive.

  • Be conscious and pay attention to when you work best
  • Consider experimenting with alternate times throughout the day
  • Leave a comment! What works for you?
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