Writing productivity is greatest in the morning, specifically early morning. I’m at the point in my study that time is money, so I will write the moment I get comments. I’m motivated by those tuition bills that keep appearing.
Reasons to consider a first things first approach are myriad. Which hit home for you?
1. It’s quiet(er). Whether you write from a home or work office, showing up early eliminates morning routines that are often set in place when other people have beat you to the clock.
2. Day job distractions are fewer. You won’t have to, or get to, hear about the weekend, grandkids, or House of Cards until after you have achieved a goal.
3. Life distractions are sleeping. See above, but substitute sports or music lessons, schoolwork, or weekend plans with the in-laws.
4. Your mood is better. My mood is already better.
5. You have more willpower. Research whenever you can; put it in an electronic or hard copy file and be ready to marathon write based on your findings first thing in the morning. I’ve heard 21 days make a habit.
Everyone is different, of course, and my pattern is to hand write in a journal first thing every morning. For instance, right now, I’m waiting on a third program professor to review my proposal. There is nothing for me to write. But that is an excuse and gets me out of my writing habit.
Long before I began this journey, I was a journal keeper, so I journal about an academic topic that is interesting to me every day. It is often not directly related to my study, but may be somehow inspirational or at least informational. It is almost always a reflection on some portion of a non-fiction book in the house. At this rate of waiting and writing, the journals will end up a more interesting process, but you don’t get a doctorate in journaling.