Hoping to determine the best time of day to write, I held a poll recently asking readers their best time of day to write. Surprisingly, over half of my readers write the best in the evening. However, according to a study by Wieth and Zacks, it’s not about what time of day is best for writing but rather what time of day is best for your specific writing goals. In other words, the best time of day to write depends on if you want to solve problems, be productive, or be creative.
The Best Time of Day to Write for Solving Problems: Morning
When you wake up, your brain is at its most alert state. The morning is when you should be working on demanding cognitive tasks such as solving analytical problems. Your working memory and systematical reasoning are at optimal performance during these early hours, making this the best time of day to write when you need to solve problems in your writing.
How to Write in the Morning
Use this time to structure your writing such as creating an outline or story mapping. This is the best time of day to edit your work and analyze its logical flaws.
The Best Time of Day to Write for Productivity: Afternoon
Between noon and 2PM is when your blood circulation increases, verbal reasoning increases, and mental alertness is sustained. This is also the peak time of day of natural sunlight, and sunlight boosts your level of serotonin so that you stay positive about your writing. After 2PM is when productivity levels decrease, so increase your blood circulation by exercising so that you can get back to writing sooner.
How to Write in the Afternoon
Use this time to write as much as you can. This is the best time of day to speak your story aloud, so feel free to record your voice telling the story and scribble it on paper afterwards.
The Best Time of Day to Write for Creativity: Evening
I’m glad to find that my readers are very creative because their best time of day to write is in the evening. This is when your brain is the least alert–but also when your mind’s focus broadens. Because your focus isn’t narrow-targeted when you’re groggy, your brain makes connections to unconnected ideas. You may notice this happening in your thoughts moments before you fall asleep.
How to Write in the Evening
Use this time to solve problems that need creative insight. This is the best time of day to free-write, sketch out ideas, or (if you’re too sleepy to write) record your thoughts with a recording device.
This writing schedule is based on the lifestyle of waking up with the sun and falling asleep at night. For those who have a different sleeping schedule, the best time of day to write for solving problems may be when you rise with the moon and your creativity may peak with the sunrise. Whatever your sleeping schedule, it is important to get enough sleep for your writing so that you can solve problems, be productive, and be creative at your most optimal times of the day.
What is your best time of day to write? Why do you think that is? Share your thoughts below.