Waking up has always been a struggle for me—I’m predisposed to be a night owl, but I'm working on becoming an early bird. Sitting here typing this at 6:45 am, after getting up at 6, is somewhat of a miracle.
For a class I had in college, Personal Creativity and Innovation with Artie Isaac, we were tasked with hand writing three pages of words as soon as we woke up, dubbed Morning Pages. We read a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and one of the activities to lead a more creative life were these Morning Pages.
It was meant to be the worst part of your day, a brain dump of just anything and everything, writing without judgement or fear that someone was going to read this. And if someone did get their hands on these sloppily written pieces of paper, they would be the most incomprehensible pieces of garbage. And that was the point, it was garbage collecting for the mind.
This post is a combination of that, plus a little more direction since this thing will eventually end up on the Internet. But this morning calm, this lack of hustle (or bustle), this sense that nothing has yet happened today to derail what I want to accomplish—it’s wonderful. Why stop with just writing? The written language is just one way to communicate our thoughts and ideas, so why not also Morning Sketches, Morning Music, Morning Whatever-kind-of-communication-medium-you-feel-like-practicing-how-you-express-ideas-with?
So right now, here’s my proposed “Morning” schedule:
- Monday: Writing
- Tuesday: Music
- Wednesday: My Choice*
- Thursday: Hand Sketches
- Friday: Digital Design
- Saturday: Video
- Sunday: My Choice*
Routines are wonderful, as they offload decision making, allowing you to just focus on the task in front. They don’t have to be these horrible things you get stuck into, but ones that you personally carve out to maximize your output, minimize your waste, and live an optimized life. The flexibility of Wednesday and Sunday will be key, because it gives me freedom to work on what I need to, even if it's not one of my other morning activities.
I’m learning I have a tendency to relate concepts to equations—it gives me a certain comfort compared to hand waving and generalities. They might not be one percent accurate, but it’s a great way for me to develop my own personal frameworks; building a rock solid infrastructure for life.