What is the best time of day to write?

Quick answer: just not right in the middle of the day! That’s when your brain is more in reactive mode, and is less likely to focus on creating anything new and original.

What’s a better solution?

Pick either mornings or evenings for the best quality time to write. Here’s why.

Writing in the morning

Why it works:

Mornings can be great for doing deep work, i.e. work that requires a lot of your concentration. Some scientists call this the brain’s peak performance time, and it’s roughly 2-4 hours after we wake up. So, for example, if you wake up at 6, your peak times are between 8 and 10 a.m.

How you can incorporate it into your schedule:

  • Create more space and time to your day by implementing a morning routine to help you be productive. The benefit of a morning routine is that you jumpstart your day; you complete several tasks before moving on to work, school, or other responsibilities; you are more productive with your time; you feel more successful in what you do.
  • Block time off for your analytical brain to perform the most complex tasks that require a lot of focus: learning new material, researching, reviewing, recalling, problem-solving.
  • Use a timer to maximize productivity. Why work longer when you can work smarter? Use a timer to divide up your morning into manageable increments so your brain can focus in a more targeted and effective way. Set the timer to 30 or 60 minute increments to maximize concentration, or try the Pomodoro technique which consists of 25 minute blocks of time, followed by 5 minute breaks.

Writing in the evening

Why it works:

Evenings, which are usually any time after 6 p.m., can be scheduled for strategic thinking. This is the time when the brain eases into a different tempo. There are fewer distractions, there’s nowhere to rush to, there’s no commute to work or school, and there is usually less noise than in the daytime. You might feel that it’s much easier to relax and get creative.

How you can incorporate it into your schedule:

  • Make the connection with your writer self. How? By getting in tune with why you love to write to begin with, and how writing makes you feel. Reflect on the good experiences you’ve had with writing. Contemplate why the writing ritual works for you and what you gain from it.
  • Be strategic by contemplating the big picture. How? Create a long-term plan for what you want to write. Identify your goal, your deadline, and your milestones for getting there in time. Don’t forget to accommodate your research and the time for editing and reviewing what you’ve written.
  • Be a better writer by reading books. Why is this important? You need to feed your brain, learn new things, reconnect with topics and writers you feel passionate about, and absorb the life experiences and inner worlds of writers. To help you build your reading habit, download the Goodreads app to locate topics that interest you, get recommendations, add books to your bookshelf, and track your reading progress.

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