Currently I am bending all of the rules of life hacking. In bed, laptop propped on my crossed legs, with wet hair – straight our of the shower and six hours until I have to get out of bed. This what not to do, kids.
But hear me out, I may not practice what I preach all the time, but I might still have a few pointers.
Morning bliss. Does that mean the smell of coffee, throwing random things into your oversized bag (because who the F has time to organise that stuff..?!) and running out the door with the daily WIP freshly printed in hand and sunglasses on your head?
I hate to say that I know exactly what and who that is, and trust me when I say, days do not have to begin this way.
Currently, I am under more work related stress than I have ever experience in my life (with my colleagues and partners in the same boat), which has forced me to choose between two things : enter a death spiral of mild stimulants, no sleep, no life and no focus – or – choose to keep calm, keep my shit together and aim to stay as productive as possible.
Needless to say, I chose the later. I have tested and tried many things, but something that I have found to help me to start off on the right foot is a morning journal (and a really pretty one, at that)
Why? Because it’s easy to slip into a state of “hero”, unflappable juggernaut who doesn’t need rest, food or weekends to get shit done. If you just identified yourself in the last sentence, I dare you.
Spend 5 minutes every morning, with a pen and a book carrying blank pages. I choose this one because it’s just so damn pretty.
Morning pages are, as author Julia Cameron puts it, “spiritual windshield wipers.”
“Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [nebulous worries, jitters, and preoccupations] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.”
Whatever you are thinking, positive, negative, questioning, targeting someone in particular, just ramblings – get it out. Fill the page and spend the full 5-10 minutes. This is your chance to get things out and then close the book, to get on with your day.
My entry this morning:
“Not all people are comfortable in their own skin. Usually the most outgoing, popular and loud people turn out to be rather vulnerable and dependant on the people that surround them. Personally, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with it, it makes them beautiful, raw. It allows you as a friend, partner, sister or brother – to get to know them better, fill voids. It makes you, in turn, feel needed and loved, and gives you purpose. I would never, ever call myself confident. But sometimes I find an incredible calm and ease in being alone. It makes me creative, plants little wires in my head that want to turn into bigger and better things, I find drive, passion and purpose. I feel like I get shit done. In school I remember my friends / boyfriend thinking that I was shy, secretive and boring because I occasionally chose to be alone. To be completely honest, there was never any hidden agenda. There never was. I just need some time to think, every once in a while.”
Go on, I challenge you to set aside 10 minutes, every morning
– before any digital or online interaction. Let me know how it works for you.