I am not good at keeping a schedule. This seems weird, because I’m also a control freak. I’m not quite sure how one can be a control freak without a schedule, but apparently it’s possible!
I’ve heard that creative people are less likely to do the same thing at the same time every day because monotony kills the creative drive (unless you’re David Lynch). Also, we think outside the box, which sometimes requires dropping everything to create when the inspiration hits – and that is definitely not something you can schedule.
Being a night-owl doesn’t help either. Anyone who’s stayed up all night cramming for finals or with a screaming baby and still had to get up in the morning for class/work, knows that it really only takes one night of sleep deprivation to get you completely out of wack. You’re tired all day so maybe you take a nap, or drink that extra coffee…then suddenly it’s 11pm and time for bed again, only you’re not tired anymore.
The problem is, it doesn’t matter what time I get up in the morning…6am, 8am, 10am, noon…I am exhausted all day long, but then, as soon as 10pm hits, and I start getting into my pjs and washing my face – hoping maybe tonight will be the night I sleep like a normal person – I’m AWAKE! I have IDEAS! The house needs to be CLEANED!
But if you live in the real world – have appointments, a job, ever plan on going to the grocery store again – the middle of the night is not an effective time to get things done.
I have been lucky in that I have been able to work with my mom at her Interior Design business, and for my stepdad as an office assistant, but it has always been rather flexible. Client appointments are at different times, and the work changes from day to day – sometimes we need to shop for tile, and sometimes we’re in front of the computer working on our website. This has worked out really well for me, especially since I’m currently dealing with some health issues that leave me feeling better on some days than others.
But when it comes to things like meals, exercise, running errands, cleaning the house, or even getting writing done, it’s helpful to have a basic outline of your day.
I have tried keeping a schedule. I wrote one down and gave myself some wiggle room even, kind of like having an alternating school schedule, so I could still feel like I had some freedom to do things whenever I felt like it. I always start my getting ready for bed routine around 10-11pm at night, but it never helps me get to sleep any earlier. I even gave up napping around age 2 (you think I’m joking, but I’m not – do you know how hard it is to find a daycare that doesn’t force your child to nap? My mom does). And I try to get up around the same time every day, but when I’ve been sleep deprived for a couple days from trying to keep a schedule, or on days I’m not feeling as well, it’s really hard to hit the “snooze” button instead of just turning my alarm off…
Any advice from some fellow creatives/night-owls who have had to retrain themselves? What about you folks who are good at keeping a schedule? What’s your freaking secret??