Productive Mornings – Where You Are Ready to Meet Your Writing Goals by Meggin McIntosh, PhD

In Writers
Jan 23rd, 2013

sunriseIt seems crazy that we’d have to organize ourselves to get our writing done, but anyone who is a writer knows that.  We also know we can do all sorts of “activities” in the morning that keep us from getting to our writing.  If you attend to the next ten productivity tips – which are good practice for anyone – you’ll see yourself getting to your writing with less self- or other-distraction.

  1. Decide the night before what you are going to wear, including jewelry and/or other accessories.  Not only does it take less time in the evenings to do this, the light is usually better and it’s one less task and decision you have to make in the morning.
  2. And don’t just decide.  Actually lay everything out (now there’s a concept).  And guess what?  This applies not just for your clothes but for other items that need to be “ready” in the morning.
  3. Clean up your kitchen the night before (who wants to face that first thing in the morning).  This is a fine job for someone else in your house.  It doesn’t have to be you.  But it does have to be cleaned up so you don’t see a mess first thing.  You want a clear, fresh mind for writing.
  4. Set two alarms if you have trouble waking up.  That panicked feeling of oversleeping just starts off the day in a chaotic fashion, and remember, we’re trying to avoid this.
  5. Put one of your alarms in the kitchen (near the orange juice; that’s what I do).
  6. Get an automatic coffee maker or hot water heater so that your beverage of choice is all ready for you.
  7. Build in a pocket of time (and we will be talking more about this idea in upcoming tips).   Pockets are the space between calm and crazed.  Build in a little extra time pocket for each morning.  EVERYTHING takes longer than you think.  Set yourself up to be ready for that.
  8. Do first things first and “extras” at the end.  Beware of starting on projects in the morning that have nothing to do with your writing goals and getting side-tracked with those.  This is true in all aspects of living, really.
  9. Have routines that work for you.  It doesn’t matter if it works for anyone else if it works for you.  The way you know it works for you is that your writing gets done.
  10. If you have other people who live in your house, set up the “rules” about how life goes on in your household in the morning.  If the other people are NOT to disturb you until 6:30 (or whatever the time is), then hold them to that.  If they are to get themselves showered and dressed and then present themselves for breakfast, stick to that.  Hold the line, whatever that line is.

Some of you are morning people and some of you are evening people.  Regardless, getting up and ready for our work day can be chaotic if we don’t take measures to keep it under control.  Take a look at this list and see what needs to be in place for you.

© Meggin McIntosh, PhD (also known as “The PhD of Productivity”®) works and writes happily in her home office – much of it in the morning.  One of the ways that you can learn from Meggin about productive writing is through her 30 Articles in Just 30 Days program (

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