Trying a new morning routine lately. Instead of immediately checking email, and social media, and then sitting down to work, I’m doing anything but those things — and then sitting down only when I’m ready.

This started two weeks ago, when I was camping in the North Carolina mountains. I would get up, take my dog Holden out, feel how the weather was, and then make a pot of coffee. I’d sit for a while outside in the quiet and breeze, and see if any thoughts came. Eventually, when I felt a natural lull, I’d head to a coffee shop to start working.

I’m generally trying to find my “center” again — something I feel I’ve lost not just through recent life changes, but over the last decade, if I think about it. (That’s a digression for another time.) But I know I’ve always found my center outside, or by creating things: words, music, drawings, paintings. So without very much nature around me now, I’m doing something pointlessly creative every morning, with no real purpose or goal, before I even think of work.

The results have been very good so far. New ideas — useful or not — are bubbling up that I don’t think would exist without this kind of mental space. I’m slowly feeling more like a whole person again. And when I do sit down to work, I’m feeling a little more focused on what needs to be done — honestly, because I’d love to have more open-ended creative time.

#routine