The Morning Journal: What is It and How to Do It 227

The Morning Journal: What is It and How to Do It

The morning journal is another name for morning pages. That’s probably the simplest exercise you can do that has a powerful effect on every other area of your life, and changes you as a person too.

It’s not just about sitting down to write a page or two. It’s much more than that.

Putting your thoughts, ideas or plans on paper in the first hour of the day lets you get inspired, clear your mind, be creative, build discipline by making it a habit and writing for a while even if you don’t want to.

Does the morning journal exercise really work?

Yes. Here’s how morning pages improve your life:

  • they are a therapy – you let things out before the day has officially started and can be more peaceful and relaxed for the rest of it;
  • you let your creative energy out – you spend some time writing in the morning and that develops the creative part of your brain. Even if you write down your plans for the day, some life goals or what happened yesterday and how you felt about it, you’re still doing a pleasant, inspiring activity that awakes the creative genius inside;

Related: 6 Creative Ways to Express Yourself in Writing

  • you generate ideas – another way the morning journal helps you is by making you think of new ways to do regular stuff. So don’t be surprised when while you’re just journaling your thoughts in the early hours, you come up with new ideas on how to be more productive, where to spend your vacation, how to monetize your hobby, etc;
  • you learn to focus more easily – writing down for a while right after you wake up requires a bit of willpower, and also focus. That’s why many people don’t find it that easy in the beginning. But it’s just like meditation – you start by doing it for a few minutes, then add some more after some time. And soon you can concentrate and remember stuff more easily.

Such is the power the morning journal. Now let’s get to action and see how to do it the right way.

How to keep a morning journal?

zen habits

The most important thing about morning pages is to sit down and write when you wake up. As long as you’re doing that daily, you’ll be able to feel the benefits of this simple but powerful exercise.

However, if you want to do it right, get maximum results and be even more productive, you can consider the following tips:

1. Eliminate distractions.

If you’re up early, there probably won’t be any people to bother you, or other things you should be doing, or notifications on the phone. So you’ll be able to focus more easily.

But distractions can take many forms. That’s why it’s best to remove any noise, be alone, and not to have many things around you that need your attention.

Related: How to Stay Focused When There Are So Many Distractions

2. Do it before everything else.

If you want to make the best out of this practice, then do it before taking a shower, before breakfast, before checking emails and social media, and before even going out of your room.

3. Use pen and paper.

That’s not a must. But it’s proven to have a more profound effect as you don’t need to use any technology and can just write slowly, take your time and experience the process.

4. Let go of perfectionism.

Don’t think about making mistakes, following the rules, or whether someone else will read. Ignore everything else, and just pour your thoughts out.

5. Make it interesting.

If you write about stuff that excites you – even if it’s simply positive affirmations about the following day – you’ll be looking forward to doing it every morning. And will have a reason to get up early.

Related: How to Use Success Affirmations Effectively

6. Don’t think too much.

You don’t need to plan what you’ll be writing about in the morning journal. Just let the words flow. Write down everything that comes to mind.

7. Prepare the night before.

Take the decision to write in the morning the evening before. Include it in your to-do list and make it a priority.

Put a notebook and a pen, or even a note/reminder beside your bed. This way it will be the first thing you see in the morning and you’re more likely to do it right away.

8. Have fixed hours.

This way you’ll build discipline, won’t need to plan it as you’ll have a set time.

Which of these do you find most useful? What other tips can you add that can help you make the most of the morning journal?


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Going Minimalist in The Sharing Economy: Why It Makes Sense to Rent Our Belongings 14

Going Minimalist in The Sharing Economy: Why It Makes Sense to Rent Our Belongings

Last week, Jeremy Rifkin’s documentary “The Third Industrial Revolution: A New Sharing Economy” brought to public attention the importance that efficient sharing economies will have in coming years. The slowing of industrial productivity, coupled with the looming climate change crisis means that the game is up for the “take, make and dispose” model that we currently operate on.

This might seem a little inaccessible from the point of view of an individual. Most of us don’t have time to make lunch in the morning let alone contemplate changing economic models.

Yet the sharing economy is growing all around us, from Gumtree to Airbnb and most recently, stuff-sharing marketplaces like Fat Lama.

Born out of East-London in 2016, Fat Lama is a peer-to-peer rental platform where users can borrow items they need and rent out items that they don’t. It’s completely free to list items and operates out of your local area.

Put simply it’s a way for people to make money off their belongings and for others to gain access to equipment they might not otherwise be able to afford. However, the platform has the potential to become a lifestyle as much as a utility. Here are just a few of the benefits:

Saving The Environment

By 2022, the planet will have produced a staggering 50 million tonnes of e-waste.

This is by no means as harmless as it sounds. We are racing through computers, phones, cameras and cables at an alarming rate and worst of all, we recycle none of it.

By investing in the sharing economy and renting rather than buying, you can make a stance against the destructive and wasteful effects of linear consumerism.

To illustrate the paradigm, let’s take the example of a power drill, which, shockingly, is used for a grand total of 13 minutes on average in its life. It is a waste of money and is using up precious resources to buy such an item. Whereas if you rent from Fat Lama, the price of which is around $5 per day, you will end up saving yourself needless expenditure at no extra cost for the planet. This is not just true of drills, but Lawn Mowers, leaf blowers, cameras and projectors.

Go Local

One of the big downsides to living in an urban environment is the lack of community spirit. Cities can feel stiflingly disconnected and it is not uncommon for a resident to have never spoken to a single person on their street.

There has been efforts made to re-localize districts, with cafés bars and social hubs popping up in suburbs all over the world. However, if you are looking for something more personal, using Fat Lama puts you into contact with hundreds of locals living around you who often, given the circumstances, have the same interests as you do.

For instance, if you are looking to rent a surfboard or Kayak, chances are the owner will be an enthusiast as well. This could lead to at the very least a friendly interaction if not a friendship.

Save Money and The Planet

The other great strength of renting rather than buying that it will save you a packet.

The sharing economy is founded on the principle that limiting ownership reduces marginal costs because the cost of production storage etc. is mitigated from the equation.

To return to the power drill analogy, a low-end model will cost you around $100, which means that every minute of use is around just under $8. Unless your drill doubles up as a cocktail-maker, this seems like an enormous waste of money. In comparison, the average electric drill on Fat Lama will cost you less than $8; really it’s a no-brainer.

Make Some Moral Money

Aside from the obvious social benefits, you can turn your underused belongings into hard cash, with virtually no effort.

We have all made some questionable purchases. Whether it’s that DSLR you promised your parents you were going to use or that sound system that never get used because of you neighbours. Now they don’t have to be an ugly reminder of the lost money but active assets that can start paying for themselves. Often the money made from these items can far exceed their original price, with some users earning up to $5000 dollars a month, more than the minimum wage in any country.

These are just a few examples of the way in which renting can impact your life for the better.

Right now it’s the fastest growing sector but the possibilities are infinite. What I hope you take away from this is that being an ethical consumer doesn’t have to be a bleak future of Spartan self-control but rather a re-imagining of the way goods flow today. Clean consumerism is not a dream, it’s right in front of us.