Morning Pages are a tool for producing innovation, insight, and calm

writingWhen Julia Cameron wrote The Artist’s Way she introduced the world to a new technique for self-reflection and problem-solving. Called Morning Pages, the practice was intended to help people reconnect with their creative selves. In a world of constant change, where innovation matters more and more, Morning Pages are also fast becoming an important tool for leadership.

Morning Pages give you access to your unconscious intuition, before your conscious mind is fully awake. They enable you to spot patterns your conscious mind may not yet have seen and to find unexpected solutions. Journalist Oliver Burkeman was sceptical at first, but when he tried Morning Pages he quickly discovered, “I wish I’d started long ago.”

The technique for Morning Pages is simple: sit down with a pen and paper first thing in the morning and write out longhand whatever comes into your mind. Keep going until you have filled three sides of paper. Then make a note of anything significant and get on with your day. Repeat the process the next morning or for as long as you feel the need to draw on this extra source of information.

The benefits come in three stages:

  • First, you get any niggling worries out of your mind and down on to the paper. This clears your head, calms you, and allows you to focus better on your priorities.
  • Second, you produce new insights.
  • Third, you can even resolve dilemmas.

The benefits will be different each day but they can begin from the first time you try the process.

You already spend most of your day analysing problems rationally. So if you find that approach isn’t bringing the results you need, try Morning Pages. Find out what answers the 95 percent of your brain that is unconscious comes up with. Like Oliver Burkeman, you may find yourself wishing you had started years ago.


Adapted from Inner Leadership.


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