Our life is built on the basis of successive rhythms – biological, cultural, personal and others. There are things that we must do, and there are those that we do at will. But often we do not allocate enough time to perform certain tasks qualitatively, and therefore negative experience is accumulated. Nevertheless, each of us can deliberately create creative time for ourselves, realizing at what time it is most productive.
In 1938, Professor Nathaniel Kleitman and Researcher Bruce Richardson conducted a bold and dedicated scientific experiment. Taking with them exclusively food, water, two hospital beds and measuring equipment, they went to the mammoth cave in the center of Kentucky – one of the deepest and darkest cave systems in the world.
According to the scientists, they had to live there for six weeks to test the hypothesis that the biological hours of sleep and wakefulness observed in humans (and other living creatures) are innate and do not depend on the effects of natural sunlight. After 32 days spent in complete darkness, Kleitman and Richardson found that people perform the endogenous mode of biological timekeeping to the minute every day, regardless of the luminosity of their surroundings. In the cave, scientists entered a predictable patterned rhythm at 9 hours of sleep and 15 hours of wakefulness, which is known to science as circadian.
More recent studies have added another interesting observation to this discovery. While people have circadian rhythms that have the same proportions regardless of the presence of light, there is a different time to start them. There are several chronotypes, the main of which are classified by people according to their preferred time of sleep and wakefulness: owls and larks. And each of these chronotypes, apparently, is governed precisely by genetics, even if the social rhythm and work schedule strongly contradict them.
Monochrons and Polychrons
Psychologists have introduced another classification of people, based on how a person feels time depending on the type of person, genetics, characteristics of the brain, culture and other markers. This allowed us to distinguish two main categories of people: polychrons and monochrons. For a polychron, time has no clearly defined boundaries, any start and deadline for it is blurred, and the schedule does not make any sense. Monochron, on the contrary, sees time in discrete units, to which he attaches great importance. Of course, you came across similar types of people at work, when one person always comes on time and does everything on time, while the other is always late and in a hurry somewhere.
In addition to the individual perception of time depending on the type of personality, there is another factor – the quality of time. The fact that at different times of day a person manifests unequal productivity was noticed by the ancient Greeks. They classified this phenomenon in two words: chronos (quantitative) and kairos (qualitative). Accordingly, in the second case, not seconds, minutes or hours, but moments can be estimated. “Kairos is a sacred time when the vibration of life arises and a long memory is postponed.” At this point, a person is able to show the greatest creative activity. It does not depend on the time of day or set dates; Kairos is a period of inspiration, when a few moments can make up for one hour.
How to get more creative time
Many of us misunderstand the connection between work and rest. These categories are not polar opposites, rest does not exclude work, and vice versa. They should rather complement each other. Some prominent representatives of the creative and intellectual professions, be they artists, writers, or scientists, took their leisure time very seriously. They realized that in order to realize their ambitions, to do the work in the form in which it was intended, they need rest. In moderate quantities, rest allows you to restore energy and uncover the mysterious part of the mind that controls the creative process.
Sometimes it is pointless to wait for inspiration. If you understand that you don’t have enough time for creativity, then adjust your schedule specifically for this purpose. Even if you filled your schedule for the whole week ahead, taking care of your performance, you can still set aside an hour (or more) for a focused creative activity.