This Is the Best Time to Be Creative, According to an Expert


Jenna Peffley


Many people have creative passions that exist outside of their day-to-day responsibilities. But whether that passion is painting, writing, or dancing, it can be hard to find enough time in the day to properly pursue it.

According to Jeffrey J. McDonnell—a professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan, that doesn’t always have to be the case. In an essay published in Science magazine, McDonnell discusses how hard it’s been for him to find time to write without distractions. When he did find the time, it took McDonnell so long to get back into the groove that by the time he did, his daily responsibilities caught up to him.

To combat that pattern, McDonnnell began waking up earlier and writing in the morning, “until distractions like email or the day’s deadlines and meetings start to intrude,” he writes. McDonnell suggests keeping this limited to an hour, and if the mornings don’t suit you, try the evenings instead.

However, McDonnell does note that setting an hour inside in the morning to pursue personal and creative fulfillment will positively affect the rest of your day. “Instead of the frustration that frequently plagued me early in my career,” McDonnell writes, “now — no matter how work proceeds after I’ve completed my writing time — I go home at the end of the day with the satisfaction of having accomplished something.”

For more advice on time management, read Eat That Frog, and tell us: Do you have trouble finding the time to pursue your passions?