Jonathan Fields tweeted something like he doesn’t think well in the late afternoon. I know the feeling!
Most days, by the time I get to four in the afternoon, I’m shot. Call it a blood sugar drop, getting older or just because I usually start my days at 5 a.m., it doesn’t matter – my thinking goes completely to pot.
Sometimes, if I do a workout, take a nap, or even just get outside, I’ll revive a bit – enough for some evening socializing, but when it comes to writing or trying to negotiate with clients or making any major decision I know I’m better off if I postpone it until the next day.
Of course, I can get stupid at other times too. Often on Fridays, writing even first thing in the morning feels more like slogging through sludge than real creativity. Or if I miss breakfast, I’ll feel the same sort of slump around 11 a.m.
Know Thy Self
I think it’s important for freelancers to know when they are at their best and when they are at their worst. After all, we have the luxury of being able to (mostly) control our time. That means we can take advantage of our body’s natural rhythms. We’re not forced to sit in a cubical at a desk trying to create just because it’s between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The differences in our circadian rhythm or body clock is well known. It isn’t hard to figure out your own; just notice when you’re not doing your best and when doing your best is close to easy. Watch over several days and you’ll soon know how your own body clock works.
If you’re like me and you slump in the late afternoon, plan your days around that so you’re not trying to sparkle then. If, on the other hand you’re one of those who functions poorly in the morning and comes to life after noon or even late at night, plan around that.
Let Your Clients Know
I’ve found that, for the most part, my clients are willing to work with my schedule, including avoiding known times when I’m not at my best. I’ve been known to just say, “I get stupid right around 4 in the afternoon.” That statement almost always gets a laugh and often some commiseration as well as the willingness to work with me earlier in the day unless it’s simply impossible.
Take advantage of your up times and take care of yourself during slump times. You will feel better and over time, do a better quality of work.
Image from http://healyourchurchwebsite.com/2008/05/08/is-church-marketing-dead-nope-just-stuck-on-stupid/