Clear Thinking [Morning Pages]
SUPERHUMAN SCORE: 9.1
Written by: Ben Meer | September 25, 2022
Declutter your mind with Morning Pages—a journaling method used by creatives, athletes, and entrepreneurs.
A System For
“Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [nebulous worries, jitters, and preoccupations] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.”—Tim Ferriss, Tools of Titans
Empty your mind's confusing thoughts on paper. Fill your day with clear thinking.
INTRODUCING MORNING PAGES
Popularized by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way, Morning Pages is a practice of longhand journaling. It's 3 pages of stream-of-consciousness (unfiltered) writing.
My preferred tools:
- Notebook: Moleskin Classic Notebook, Soft Cover, XL (Lined)
- Pen: Pilot Precise V7 RT, Fine Point (.7mm)
In every edition of All Systems Go, I assess the featured product across four superhuman dimensions: impact, setup, maintenance, and aesthetics.
Unlike your typical product review, I focus on factors that influence personal growth. Get to know the evaluation system.
I first discovered Morning Pages in Tim Ferriss' Tools of Titans.
It's been a game-changer.
I'm a bit neurotic, so I need to be proactive—with deliberate habits like Morning Pages—to stop overthinking.
A secondary benefit? Creative ideas.
I conceived System Sunday during a Morning Pages session.
Important: The focus is to write without expectation. Whether or not something of creative value surfaces, the #1 benefit is clearing your head of the clutter.
Lowering expectations will stop you from filtering and editing (key to realizing benefit #1).
- Block out 45 mins on your calendar
- Grab a pen and journal
- Write stream-of-consciousness for 3 pages (about 750 words). Don't stop, edit, or filter. Keep the pen rolling.
Admittedly, I no longer do the practice every morning.
I'm consistent on weekends, but weekdays can be challenging. I'm a full-time consultant (with limited time to create for System Sunday).
So, on weekdays, I often substitute a 10-minute guided meditation in the Waking Up App.
The trick to completing Morning Pages is making it a priority and blocking out 45 minutes on your calendar.
Here, I'll focus on my favorite notebook and pen for Morning Pages (again, both are optional).
- Moleskin: Quality thick paper, minimalist design, durable cover
- Pilot V7 Pen: Patented fine tip precision, perfect balance, retractable, smooth roll
BRINGING IT HOME
If you struggle with overthinking (like me), try longhand journaling.
Know this: you're not alone.
You have systems—like Morning Pages—to help you thrive.
All systems go,
P.S. If you’re enjoying the free newsletter, it’d mean the world to me if you share it with others. System Sunday just launched, and every single referral helps. Thank you!
- Share System Sunday on Twitter , LinkedIn, Facebook, or via email .
- Or, share by copying and pasting the link: https://systemsunday.com/all-systems-go
- Newsletter Archive: Read past issues of All Systems Go
- Energy Dashboard: Get an under-the-hood look at my self-tracking metrics for energy management (updated weekly)
- [Quick Win] Phone Charger Challenge: Save 60 hours every year with this simple morning hack