After hearing about it for a while, I’ve recently started a morning ritual that has already improved my productivity and focus. Initially it sounded like it would take up way too much of my time, but now I’m a total morning pages convert.
what they are
Here’s the basic idea: every morning you take out three pages of paper and free write (by hand! no word docs allowed) whatever comes to your mind. There are no rules about what you write, as long as you write three pages of something.
why they help
The reason behind morning pages is that once you have everything down on paper, you can free up some headspace to do other things. It’s also a nice way to pinpoint why you’re feeling anxious, or if something has been on your subconscious. And let me tell you, it works. I’ve found that I easily make up for the time it takes to do them (about 20 minutes) in the time that I would normally be distracted.
how to make them count
Free writing can be difficult to get the hang of. We often feel confined by rules and grammar, so throwing them all out the window feels wrong. Remember that these pages are for your eyes only, they won’t be graded so don’t worry about spelling something wrong or even making them legible to anyone else. My pages are often full of abbreviations and are written in handwriting no one could ever dream of reading. And that is a-okay, because they don’t have to be pretty or thoughtful, they just have to be done. I write whatever comes to mind and just let my thoughts flow. One thing will remind you of the next until you have three full pages in no time.
So what if you don’t know where to start? Just write down everything you have to do today. Write down anything you’re worried about in the future. Write down anything you’d like to do someday. You’ll soon find something that you didn’t even know was bothering you.
I don’t expect to read them again anytime soon, but it may be cool to see in a bit how everything I worried about worked out, so I’m hanging onto them for now. If recycling them is more your speed, that’s cool too. Just don’t be tempted to type them up! If you’re writing on a computer you can go back and change things and will be more tempted to make them perfect. That’s exactly what you want to avoid. Hand writing them will keep them from being perfect so that they can be good.
Try it out for a couple days and let me know if it helps. I know that I’ve already seen a hug difference!