In the morning, most of us hit the snooze button until we run out of time to even do basic hygiene, let alone breakfast. So we run around all stressed and confused, in a vicious cycle of trying to remember what we should do, which makes us more stressed, in turn killing our creativity and that stops our productivity which makes us even more stressed and so on. Then, our brains implode and we are left paralyzed, procrastinating by checking our social media over and over.
Why I think the snooze button is the worst thing us humans ever did to ourselves is a whole other story, and I will write about it extensively. But I believe we are starting our day all wrong, making it harder for ourselves to get through the day, let alone accomplish something great…
In my search to solve this huge problem in my own life, I tried every trick in the book. I organized to the point of toting 3 different organizers with me, I tried functioning on less than 4hrs of sleep to squeeze more tasks in (super bad idea), I tried preparing everything to the last detail for the day before. And at the end, I ended up in the hospital for exhaustion and severe body weakness…
Over time, I developed a system that works, not just for productivity at work but for all areas of life. And as all good things, the whole system is simple:
4. Work intelligently
Decluttering is a first step toward a better organization and more productivity. But, unlike your closet or house, brain needs decluttering every day to function at its best.
Think about the sheer volume of information we receive throughout the day, our brain processes it during the night, and by the morning our brains are cluttered with all the information our brain didn’t want.
How to deal with it and clean it up? Get it out!
When I first read about the morning pages, I was super skeptical. Mainly because the author of the theory, Julia Cameron is a new age creativity guru and tends to throw out theories and statements that just do not sit well with logic.
I like to experiment on myself and I was desperate, so I decided to give the whole thing a go. After all, I had nothing to lose.
It worked like magic, from day one! First day I started doing it, I felt lighter, worked better and accomplished more within a shorter period of time. And it only gets better! To skip all the mumbo-jumbo of “creativity moves you toward divinity” from Julia Cameron’s book “The artist’s way” I have prepared a short instruction on how to do this, magical pixie thing that actually works.
1. Do it first thing in the morning! Do it before your brain wakes up and starts bitching! Instead of hitting snooze button; Roll out of bed, make some coffee (or tea or whatever), whip out notebook and start writing.
2. Notebook does not have to be fancy, it can be any notebook you like, just make sure it is dedicated just to morning pages. And make sure that the pen is easy to glide, like fine-liner, fountain pen or ball roller…
3. Make morning pages a part of your morning ritual, don’t skip it!
4. Don’t overthink it! Write stream of consciousness style, first crap that pops into your mind. Petty thoughts, ideas, shopping lists, worries, happiness, grumpiness… You don’t even have to write in coherent sentences.
5. Just fill 3 pages, every morning, first thing!
6. Write by hand! There are apps for this, but they are not as effective, trust me, I tried. Writing by hand is a great way to connect with your thoughts and also a kind of meditation.
7. Stop writing after 3 pages, to avoid too much self-involvement and spending too much time on a single task.
8. Enjoy the rest of your clutter free and productive day!