Video: Morning Pages - Organizing - Prioritizing & Executing Your Thoughts

Author - Mari L. McCarthy
Published - Jan 4, 2017 3:51:00 PM

Stephen P. Smith is a blogger and marketing consultant from New Hampshire. His profession requires precise organization, and one way he stays on top of his to-dos is by journaling with morning pages. This is a practice put forth in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Getting thoughts out of Stephen's head and onto paper help him organize, prioritize, and execute his daily tasks. All you need is a notebook and writing utensil. Stephen recommends finding stationery and writing tools that you love, since they will prompt you to pick them up and use them more often. He starts his morning pages first thing in the morning, even before checking his email. Stephen also uses a stack of 3" x 5" index cards for long term thoughts or ideas that need to be fleshed out in the future. He takes about 20 or 40 minutes each morning to take care of his morning pages. He says it helps him kickstart the creative process.

Here is the transcript fo the video:

Hello everyone, my name is Steven Smith and I am a blogger and marketing consultant here in New Hampshire in the United States and Mario had asked that I give a little presentation about how I stay organized. One of the tools that I use is my morning pages in my journal and that is an exercise from the artist's way by Julia Cameron that I discovered several years ago and I have found it to be amazingly useful in terms of getting the things that are trapped inside my head down on paper so that they can be organized, advertised and execute it. And in doing so, what I tend to use as my tools are the notebook for my journal. I use paper and pen just like people have been doing for thousands of years. Like I prefer that myself too. Trying to type out journal entries and things like that. I just. There's something tactile about the pen and the paper and the way that the ink flows.

I do use a fountain pen, a little bit of a snob about that, but if you find a tool that works for you and you find something that you enjoy using, I have found that you will use it more often and that is the number one key to productivity success and what I'll do is I'll just sit down with my journal in the morning before I start any work before I turned on my computer before I started looking at emails on my phone or anything like that and I just started writing whatever's on my mind. And what tends to happen is things that I've been thinking about or tasks that I know I need to work on today. Or perhaps ideas will just pop into my head and they get jotted down on the paper. As I'm going through this process of I do think of something that's important that I need to work out or that I want to think about more.

Uh, I have a stack of three by five cards right next to me on the desk and each card will get its own entry if you will. Its own idea. It's on task, um, sometimes these things will turn into projects which are groups of tasks that need to be executed or it might just be something as simple as think about this idea, some similar and try to flush it out. And so I usually take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to perform this exercise every morning. I am an early riser so I get up before my wife does, so I've got that quiet time and I'll tend oddity and sit there and just let the thoughts flow right down from my brain onto the paper and it's pretty good at helping me clear out the cobwebs and really sometimes really kickstart that creative process. So again, simple tools, a pen and notebook and some three by five cards. Anyone can do it. It doesn't take a lot of time. And with practice it will develop into something that I think is very valuable. I share it with all my productivity and coaching clients and they definitely stand by it and enjoy the creativity that it fosters. Thank you so much. Have a great day.

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