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Why Creatives Can’t Work with the 9-to-5 Working Formula

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Many of us work within the traditional 9-to-5, Monday to Friday office culture, but for creative types, that routine is simply too strict and freedom-limiting. If this describes you and your personality, and your career leans more toward the artistic than the buttoned-down professional, then read on. Here are five reasons why being a creative person makes it difficult for you to work within the 9-to-5 structure.

See also: Top 10 Careers That Encourage Creativity

1. Breaks Make You More Creative

Research shows that we can’t perform at our creative best when we sit at our desks for eight hours a day. We need to take several breaks throughout the work day. This can be tough if you’re working in a 9-to-5 office environment, but if you have a creative job, chances are the work culture is such that you will be supported if you take several short breaks a day, as long as you prove that you are still delivering. If you are a freelance creative type, then you’re in luck. Your schedule will allow you to take a break whenever you are stuck, and need to brainstorm and solve a creative problem. Who wouldn’t feel more creative after taking a short walk or heading off to a lunchtime yoga class?

2. You're Not a Morning Person

Research suggests that we don’t perform at our optimal best until four hours after waking up in the morning. So, it makes sense that many creative workers find a 9 a.m. start time way too early. Based on that research, it would make sense, then, to either work from a home office or a studio, and start and finish later, too. After all, we never think of artists as people who can wake up at 6 a.m. and be immediately inspired. The traditional picture: artists who stay up all night creating in a rush of inspiration. Embrace your night owl personality.

3. You Want to Work When Inspiration Strikes

You can’t get instantly inspired just because it’s Monday at 9 a.m. and that’s when the work week is supposed to begin. If you have a creative career, you can of course force yourself to be productive and get something down – books don’t write themselves, for example. But if you can set your own hours, you will be a much happier and more productive person. Working outside of the 9-to-5 mold will allow you to take a Monday off if you are just getting nothing done and work the following weekend instead when inspiration does finally come.

4. Too Much Stress Equals Less Creativity

Research shows that two things inhibit the creative process: stress and a schedule. So, it makes sense that if you’re a creative type, you find it difficult to fit within the 9-to-5 because a traditional work week has both stress and schedules. It turns out that relaxation doesn’t actually mean that we stop working, although it may look that way. We won’t become motivated or ambitious enough to continue on unless we take those breaks.

5. You Need to Create Your Own Routine

This isn’t to say that you can’t have a routine at all if you’re a creative type: you just need to create one that works for you. Whether that’s working longer hours for fewer days a week or working out every morning in order to boost creativity for an afternoon work session, artists need freedom to choose how they want to work.

See also: How to Not Waste Creativity in the Workplace

As you can see, several aspects of the traditional 9-to-5 work schedule – such as the daily stress, normal routine, and schedules – don’t necessarily inspire the most creativity. Consider these five reasons why creative types can’t work at their best when they have to work 9-to-5, and if that describes you and your work, maybe you can make a change and see a big difference in your creative output.

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