At some point over the next week, diarise to spend an hour doing something a bit different first thing in the morning.

  1. Reach for a notebook before you look at your phone
  2. Grab a pen or pencil before turning on your email and
  3. Start drawing or writing.
  4. Just write or draw.

Focus on flow, resist trying to make sense certainly initially.

Give yourself an hour. This is a one hour challenge.

See where it takes you.

  • What inspirations do you find?
  • Where does it deliver your thinking?

Why an hour – because it is substantial.

Why in the morning first thing – because you haven’t put your defences up.

Why does this work so well?

There’s something grounding about this simple act — a ritual that not only challenges the norms of our digital age but also has a surprising and profound impact on your cognitive faculties. Instead of immediately reaching for the screen that so often captures your attention, you opt for the tactile sensation of a pen and notebook. We know that the act of writing by hand, compared to typing, activates different neural pathways in the brain. There’s an intimacy in the act — a direct line of connection from your thoughts, through your arm, and onto the paper. It’s not just about recording thoughts; it’s about processing and understanding them in a fundamentally different way.

By being given permission, this exercise grants you to let go. By focusing on the flow rather than the outcome, you dispense with the ever-present internal critic that’s often eager to dissect and judge your creative impulses. Free from this pressure, your mind can wander down unexpected alleys and conjure just simply brilliant ideas. 

I have commented that an hour is substantial. An hour is a sweet spot. It’s a significant enough chunk of time to get lost in a creative process, but not so lengthy that it feels daunting. In committing to this hour, you send a message to yourself that this time, this exploration of the depths of your mind, truly matters.

The act of dedicating your first morning hour to writing or drawing is more than just a creative exercise. It’s a powerful ritual that harnesses the mind’s peak performance, mitigates distractions, and promotes profound self-reflection.

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