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I used to do my writing before the work day began. I would sit in a café, far from calm, while a mix of working professionals and tourists trying to satisfy their morning addiction shuffled around waiting for their coffee. Skeptical the words would come anywhere other than the tranquility of my living room, but determined to make use of the half hour window I had before work, I brought my laptop so that I could use the time to write – I’m at a loss with pencil and paper.

To my surprise, the mornings in the café ended up being my most productive writing time. I ordered a small coffee, set up my laptop, and focused – successfully resisting my tendency to people watch. My months of productivity before the location of my office and work hours changed, no longer leaving me time to write in the café before work, has left me to question – where is our creative space?

Writing about the experience of work before work, and having time to reflect before the day began, left me with a sense of calm and confidence that I was not limited to the day-to-day mundane. For me, the opposite of what I expected about myself was true. I could be productive where I least expected. Maybe we have more time than we think. Maybe if we challenged our ideas about our own productivity, we would find more time to create and to work on figuring out fulfillment.