Writing Ritual: Leave a Note to Your Morning Self the Previous Night

Every day, starting today, I’ll share a short tip on how to develop habits that help you become more productive, effective and creative.

Shawn Blanc from The Sweet Setup follows a powerful morning writing ritual.

Every night, he decides what he wants to write next morning, finishes all the research, and leaves a post-it note to himself on his writing desk, with the topic of the post he wants to write when he wakes up. He goes to bed with this intention, and gives his subconscious mind a 12 hour head start to process all his research, and structure his thinking.

In the morning, when he sits down at his writing desk with his cup of coffee, he doesn’t have to think about what to write. He has already decided the topic, he has already done all the research, he has already slept on it, his mind is fresh and uncluttered, and he can simply get to work and start writing.

I have adapted this practice in my own workflow. Every night, I decide what I am going to write in the morning, and create an outline in Ulysses, with all the research, quotes and website links that I want to use. I even decide the title and write the first sentence as a prompt to myself. Then, first thing in the morning, I sit down on my writing desk with my coffee, and write.

You can adapt this tip in your own life, even if you are not a writer. Every night, review your calendar and task list, and identify one to three important actions you would like to work on the next day. Visualise what’s the desired outcome and the immediate next steps. Perhaps, write them down in a Bullet Journal, to strengthen your intention. Then, sleep on it, and let your subconscious work on it for 8 hours.

If you already use a variation of this tip, and have had success with it, I would love to learn about your experience. And, if you have been inspired to start using a note to your morning self after reading this post, I would love to know what impact it has had. Do share your experience in the comments below or on Twitter @gauravonomics.

Sign up for my free 12-week email course on learning creative habits. You will also receive my weekly newsletter with new essays, quotes, book suggestions and tool recommendations.

Author: Gauravonomics

Recovering creative re-learning how to create a daily writing and sketching practice for the second half of life