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Posts tagged ‘sleep’

Practice strategies of super elite performers: Sleep your way to creativity

I’ve learned that taking a break from the computer and “sleeping on” my writing often reveals breakthroughs — a solution to a problem or a story idea. And often this inspiration happens right after I lie down when my brain is buzzing from a writing session.

But I recently found that sleep is more important to the creative process than I realized.

Christine Carter, Ph.D, a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, writes on her blog about elite performers and how they become successful. “People who go to the top of their fields don’t just practice deliberately and persistently, they also rest strategically,” she says.

It’s well known that most people need seven to eight hours of sleep a night. But Americans average only 6.5 hours of sleep per night, Carter says. She’s written about characteristics of elite performers and says super high achievers clock in more sleep time than average. Elite performers tend to get 8.6 hours of sleep a night and high performing athletes even more. Read more

Wake up early to be a more productive writer: Here’s how

Some of the most productive people I know get up early. I know that when I get up early, I get more done and feel happier because of it. When I was in graduate school and working full-time, I knew I had to get up extra early if I was going to meet my deadlines. I also wanted to write in my dream state.

So I started getting up between 5 and 5:30 a.m. It was hard at first but I was motivated, and I found that after a few days, I’d automatically wake up.

Writing early in the morning doesn’t work for everyone. Some people are most productive in the evening after their children go to sleep or even in the middle of the night. But if you’re thinking of getting up earlier, here’s what I’ve learned, including several tips that might help you.

1. Think about what you’ll work on first thing in the morning. Each night, I write down two or three topics for free writing exercises or questions that I want to answer in my writing. Regardless of what you work on, having a plan sets the stage and alerts your inner artist to be ready. Read more