When is Your Creative Window?

"Working Outdoors" Austin, 2019
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/400 sec, ISO100
“Working Outdoors” Austin, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Ever since high school (oh so many years ago) I’ve been creating visually. Back then, it was drawing and painting, which I continued until I graduated from college with an art degree. When I started working, I shifted to a digital medium and graphic design, and that is pretty much what I continue to do, quite happily.

But only within the past few years have I realized that I am way more productive in the mornings – the window of heightened creativity starts from when I arrive at work and lasts for maybe four hours or so, sometimes less, but rarely more. With that newly-found knowledge, I’ve been able to do better work, more efficiently than before. So when I have a particularly challenging project, I’ll block off the morning so I can concentrate.

It’s really a waste of time to be stuck in meetings during this morning window. In fact, I’ll bring my laptop and work on projects during those morning meetings if I need to, and I don’t feel guilty about doing that. It’s for the good of the team, and honestly, my strengths are not planning meetings or analyzing metrics. (Some of my co-workers are excellent at that sort of thing, so I’ll let the experts have their time)

It seems silly that my younger self used to think that creativity (at least my own) happens at the same level at all times of the day. It actually can come to me in the afternoon or evenings as well, but I’d say that the mornings are the time I can actually count on and plan for. But once those four hours are over, it’s pretty much gone for the rest of the work day, and I’ll shift to tasks that require less creativity, or at least more formulaic problem-solving.

It’s kind of interesting to be working on a project and then feel the creative juices start to dry up. It makes me wonder what chemicals in the brain are being depleted. Some days, it seems like my window is open for a shorter amount of time, but I haven’t thought about if I was working more intensely or not. I’ll try to note that in the future.

Anyway, I’m sure other creative-type people have creative windows too, but maybe some can go 24/7?! I wonder how that works? 😄

I hope you had a nice Monday!

またね〜

Early Ehōmaki 恵方巻 for Setsubun

"Ehoumaki" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Ehoumaki” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Setsubun is tomorrow but we ate our celebratory ehōmaki 恵方巻 this evening because of Super Bowl Sunday. We aren’t really doing anything special for the Super Bowl, so I’m not too sure why Mariko wanted to make ehōmaki early, but who am I to complain? (I also think she may have mentioned a reason but might have had a senior moment) Anyways, this year’s lucky direction is N/NE, so we each ate our ehōmaki roll in silence while facing the lucky direction, as dictated by tradition.

Actually eating without talking, and just thinking about the taste of the sushi, is really great. It’s a special experience, but one that we can have all the time if we choose to just be mindful. I wonder if it would be possible to institute a one-minute of silent eating to begin each dinner? Hmm….

"Sushi" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Sushi” Cedar Park, 2019

I hope you had a nice Saturday!

またね~

Decluttering Alma Mater Items

"Old Pullover" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/25 sec, ISO6400
“Old Pullover” Cedar Park, 2019

While going through some of my old clothes, I came across two items from my alma maters, Torrance High School and UC Irvine. The one from high school was my old cross-country jersey. It was cool to look at it again before putting it in the trash. Its last bit of usefulness was to remind me of the good times I had running in high school. Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy cross-country. Haha. But it happened, and it gave me experiences and I learned about myself.

The other item I found is a pull-over from college. I really like the classic design and color, but it’s uncomfortable and not soft anymore. Actually, I don’t think it was ever very soft. Anyway, I was going to throw it away but then Bay decided he wanted it. I guess he’s into “college mode” or something. I’d eventually like to get a more comfortable replacement for the pull-over because I am sort of proud of graduating from UCI. It’s not really high on my list, though. 😄

Who knew decluttering could be so fun?