May 19, 2016 70 comments

10 Morning Writing Activities for Entrepreneurs

by Regina

Morning Writing Activities for Entrepreneurs
So basically, I instituted a practice a while back that completely altered the amount and quality of work I was able to get done. It’s a practice I’ve recently picked back up here in Mexico, where I live now . . . and it is doing wonders for my productivity, mental clarity, sanity, and content. Wonders.

I want to share this magical, mystical practice.

In a short blog post. And if you know me, that like . . . never happens. So let’s hop straight into this cool method/thing.

It’s called making content creation the first thing you do in the morning. Before Twitter, before getting fully ready for the day, before investing time in your day job, before all of it.

And yes, I do understand that you have a crazy, busy life. I promise I really do get it. But it’s just like working out. We all know we need to do it, but if we never prioritize it and try to leave it as the last thing we do for the day, it never gets done.

So, even if you just wake up 30 minutes earlier, or alter your routine to fit in an extra 15 minutes or so in the morning for yourself, I hope you can find a way to make this work.

Prioritizing content in the morning means that:

  • You haven’t been influenced by any outside sources yet that day. Your mind is fresh. It’s more focused on who you really are . . . it hasn’t had time to take on the other personalities and crazy thoughts that hop in our heads each day as emotional creatives.
  • You’re less likely to create content that’s an accidental copy of something you’ve seen. Especially if you follow the #1 rule of this practice: Don’t consume any content at all, other than your own, before you get started for the day.
  • Your emails and responsibilities haven’t taken over yet.
  • You will feel more productive that day to have gotten in an early win.
  • Your quality of life will likely increase if you’re able to create more amazing content and feel better about your progress toward your goals.

Here are the 10 most epic suggestions ever (#humblebrag) of what you can create or do during your morning time:

1. Write a letter to yourself.
And by “letter,” I of course mean “email to the future.” You can use a tool like FutureMe.org if you’re like me . . . in denial about the validity of journaling each day.

FutureMe.org even has an app. You can open it up (or use the desktop version) and write yourself a quick note that will be delivered at some time in the future that you get to specify (1 month, 1 year, 5 years, etc.).

What happened yesterday? What milestones have you met in your business? What are you hoping to launch or do in the near future? Why does it matter? Who is important in your life right now and why?

Remind yourself to be patient, mindful, forgiving, and kind to yourself and others.

No lie. Every single email from the past me to the future me has made me cry. Has made me stop in my tracks. Has refocused me. Has delighted me. Has reminded me of what’s important.

2. Create an outline for an epic piece of content.
Whether you want to outline an epic article, blog post, or guide using this resource planning post as a guide, or you want to start planning how to change one of your blog posts into a book, or you want to start planning your first workshop . . . take 15 – 45 minutes in the morning to create a detailed outline of your content.

3. Draft an email to your email list.
When your mind is more raw, real, and fresh, take the time to draft an email to your list. Something real, something that includes a story, something that communicates your heart and passion for what you do.

If the email isn’t complete by the time you finish writing that morning, keep it in a special Google Doc in the cloud (or a folder somewhere that makes sense for you) so that you can write more when you feel like it or come pull from this doc when you have a thought that relates and can complete your email.

4. Write part of a book.
Legit. This is the only way I was able to write and publish my first book when I had other full-time responsibilities. It was the hardest, most rewarding thing ever. EVER.

5. Write out one activity you’re going to do that day for yourself on top of your daily goals or in your day planner.
Is it working out and building toward your summer six pack? Is it getting a pedicure? Is it going out with a girl you have a crush on? Is it going to bed early enough to read two chapters of your current book?

Prioritize something, even if it’s small, that replenishes you or gives you a moment of peace in a long day.

6. Create a blog post.
Take one of the outlines you created on a separate morning and fill it in with your epic morning mind.

7. Write a video script.
Whether you are creating a video tutorial that you’ll have to narrate, or you want to create a cool new video series with quick tips and solid information, your video probably needs some sort of a script . . . even if it’s only bullet points for you to follow as you talk.

Having your script pre-written will make it THAT much more likely that you actually get those video ideas you’ve planned out done.

8. Write part of your course materials or part of your sales page.
Most of the time, you can’t build a quality course in a day. So, instead, break up its creation over as many mornings/days as you need to.

If you already have a course or another product you sell, write or tweak your sales page or a cool bonus that you can use to generate interest in your product.

9. Re-assess and write down your top 3 work goals and top 3 life goals (plus their “why”—the reason they matter) as they occur to you that morning.
I know. I know. You are already super clear on all your goals, ever. But, just in case you want to constantly audit and check yourself (so you don’t get sucked in to an online cult), write down what’s important to you as of that moment. Make sure all of your goals have a real reason/purpose that you can identify, and then verify that your immediate goals (of the day/week/month) line up with your purpose statements.

10. Write some fiction.
Yeah. Give your mind something creative to work on outside of your business. Something you don’t have to monetize. (So, if you’re a professional fiction writer, you’re going to want to do something outside of your normal work. Something that doesn’t have pressure associated with it. A poem? An article? Some travel tips? Whatever pops in your head.)


Pssssst. You can totally create content other than written content in the mornings. Sometimes I simply:

  • design a graphic
  • record a screen tutorial
  • record an audio file
  • continue my morning project from the day before
  • etc. {translation: get creative with your “Morning Milestones”}

If you’re not already doing this with your mornings, I really do think you will enjoy it, because no matter how crazy your day gets afterward, you will have gotten some business and personal growth stuff done.

10 Epic Writing Activities for Entrepreneurs

I hope you enjoyed these quick ideas for what you can do in the morning to feel + be epic and productive.

I re-started doing this because as lovely as it is to have a coworking office (when I’m in Austin or when I’m here in México), if I show up there first thing in the morning, the convo, or the structure of the facility, or my general responsibilities take over . . . and then I get frustrated with myself for not accomplishing as much as I wanted to.

I’m probably not the only one, right? Tell me. What do you do in the mornings? How do you achieve the level of productivity you’re shooting for?

70 responses to “10 Morning Writing Activities for Entrepreneurs”

  1. Paula B. says:

    Regina this is great! I just started trying to get up at 5am to be more productive and this gives me a great way to start my day. I’ve been trying to find time for my content upgrades ad now Ive found it! Thank you !!

    • Aye, I’m the same way. These days (for several months now) I have been getting up around 4 or 5 AM and often find myself hurtling into my blog before anything else.

      Part of the challenge I am experiencing is splitting up things into theme days where I can focus on different parts. For example, Sundays are when I focus on feedback, reflection, strategy and getting ready for the rest of the week.

      However, writing is something that simply cannot be scheduled. Final drafts, yes, but creativity? No, it’s a burst that simply requires time and shutting everything else out.

      This is challenging to do if you are trying to make a routine. I use Day One for my MacBook (there’s an iPhone app but I never write on my iPhone). One nice feature I enjoy about Day One is that you can set it to interrupt you and “encourage” you to write in it.

      It’s something I have been using for about a year now. At first, I was annoyed by the pop-up interruption and actually turned it off. After a few months, I opened up the app and noticed how long it was since used Day One and I had great thoughts written in some, not all, but some of these journal entries.

      So I turned back on the schedule and started using it again on a regular basis. I don’t use it every day but I notice when I do, it’s great. I have it scheduled to interrupt me at 8 AM. Just perfect timing to stop what I’m doing, assess my status, and write anything from a quick note to a long train of thought, post it, close it, and square things away for the day when I have to take care of “real world” stuff.

      Hmmm…you got me thinking about how to do this away from my laptop. Handwriting in Moleskins are nice but they often fall to the side underneath a layer of dust, and my iPhone, let’s just say big thumbs and hands don’t make for a nimble function on a pocket size device.

      My only question at this point is do you write at the end of the day when everything is done? Or is your creativity depleted?

    • Kevin says:

      Great ideas and thank you for the tips.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Love it! No excuses… Just set the alarm, get up and write.

    I keep saying that I’m going to write a book but it never happens. Sounds like I need to embrace mornings!

  3. Arian says:

    This is great Regina. I am realizing now, that in the mornings before I turn on Pinterest is my most authentic self! I notie that even when i am doodling randomly, my own ideas come out in the morning, by the afternoon, i start noticing bits and pieces of other peoples thoughts in my work. I also, like the “schedule something for yourself” thought. I’ve personally been doing this recently and found increased creativity and even a more positive day overall.

    Thank you for the work you put in to this blog. You have been absolutely inspirational.

  4. Kerri says:

    Love it! Thank you for sharing this! I struggle so much trying to focus and it’s probably because I immediately open a dozen tabs upon startup.

    I’ve been using FutureMe.org for a very long time (since 2003 to be exact) and I’m just recently receiving emails I wrote to myself back in 2008! It’s so crazy, but definitely an unexpected delight when my past self decides to communicate. haha

    P.S. First time commenting, but I’ve been consistently visiting your site for about a month now. I really admire you and all of the things you do to help people! 🙂

  5. Love this list! One of my focuses for the remainder of the year is to write more! Ive created letters to myself before with FutureMe and its always mind blowing to read again!

  6. Love this, Regina. I give myself so many excuses not to write in the morning– but then I find myself spending the rest of my day reacting, not creating. Thank you!!

  7. Brooke says:

    Love the idea of writing a letter to myself plus doing an outline for content. I already do blog posts in the morning because if I don’t – it’s over – I just can’t do them later on. They have to be done when the brain is fresh. Thanks for the ideas and as always for all the wonderful free advice and content.

  8. This is an awesome list Regina! I love the idea of writing first thing in the morning because your ideas are fresh and they just flow right out of your mind.

  9. Jovanhanna says:

    Writing first thing in the morning really helps me clear my mind. I’ve gotten away from that. This was a good reminder and I know it will help me be more productive. Thanks for the amazing tips.

  10. Barkha says:

    Dear Regina
    thanks alot.. loved the article.. have recently started writing in the mornings after my meditation and yoga schedule… it is working… 🙂

    • regina says:

      Hehe. We sound like twins. I love it. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Barkha.

      • Barkha says:

        Dear Regina
        It’s been great to hear from you….
        I would be glad to be in touch with you and develop my writing skills through your experiences and knowledge.
        It would be great if you could suggest me something to read that can help me grow as a writer and as an individual too.

        Love and Regards
        Barkha

  11. M.Nicole says:

    This was a great article! I just found you on Facebook today which led me to this post. Now I will politely peruse your WHOLE entire website for great information and tips! Haha!

  12. Nia says:

    This post was right on time! I swear they are all relevant to where I am now. I’m in the middle of writing my first ebook so I’m writing a few pages/day. I haven’t emailed my growing list in a month and I really need to focus more on my life vs. werk,werk,werk all the time.

    Thanks so much for writing this. I’m bookmarking it!

  13. siya says:

    Great reminder post Regina. I hope I can make my day more productive by following your tips.

    Thanks for writing such awesome post!

  14. Eva says:

    This “Future me” sounds sooo interesting. Hah! I am off, going to write a bit letter to myself. See you ;))

  15. I like this a lot. The one I do most often is #6, writing that blog post. I have so many to write that it helps me get going… when I can tell myself to do it. 🙂

    Actually, for a week I had it scheduled for me to write at least 30 minutes on my latest book. Unfortunately, I only got to do it twice that particular week because stuff just gets in the way. I need to plan that again though because I really want to finish it before the end of summer.

  16. Kayleigh says:

    I start by filling out my day in my Happy Planner and list out my top goals for the day. Going off the “future self” writing, I have inspiration quote stickers that I’ll stick in random days in my planner – they come at just the right times!

    Awesome post Regina!

  17. Trish Finley says:

    Thanks for writing this! I get up at 4:30 to get an hour of writing in before my day job. Sometimes the content just flows but lately my 5 a.m. brain has been blank as hell. I’ll use some of these tips to get it fired up again!

  18. Thank you, Regina! This really helped to push me to get into a writing routine.

    In the mornings, I sweep the house, have a yoga practice, meditate, and water the garden. However, none of these things have been a direct investment in my blog or business.

    I love reading your posts, you’ve inspired me to much!

  19. Ralitsa says:

    Thank you so much for these awesome tips, Regina! Another amazing and super useful post.

    Lately, I’ve been so overwhelmed by the things I *have* to do for my upcoming project that sticking to a specific morning routine sounds like the perfect solution. So far I’ve been focused on tackling the most urgent things first thing in the morning, but it doesn’t always work out.

    Thanks so much for sharing these!

  20. I started doing this a few week ago after reading this. I bring out my laptop on my train commute (it’s about 45 minutes long) and will work on a blog post. It’s been hugely productive compared to how I used to spend my commute (on my phone mostly) plus it’s ticking off an item on my to do list.

    Thanks for the great advice Regina!

    • regina says:

      That is AMAZING, Meghann. I love your comment. Thank you so much for reading and even thinking to come back and comment. I appreciate you!

  21. Andrea says:

    Love this post! It’s an awesome idea to get those creative juices flowing first thing in the morning!

    http://www.thebeautydojo.com

  22. NiaSweetz says:

    First of all, I had to scroll up and down a few times after reading. When you said short, I kind of rolled my eyes. I figured you did NOT know the meaning of a short post. Lol, yes, this was short and packed with the most helpful morning routine tips I’ve read in a while. Emailing yourself in the future? PURE GENIUS. Thanks Regina!

  23. Jack says:

    It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time
    to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or tips.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read more things about it!

  24. Charley says:

    I just started getting up early (even though it is summertime) to work on either a blog post or a short story I was writing. (Notice the past tense? I FINISHED IT!) But now I keep rolling over and getting onto my phone instead. Should I start charging it in a different room?? Loved the post and the ideas.

  25. Regina, I read this post Tuesday afternoon. I enjoyed your suggestions.

    When I woke up Wednesday morning, I looked at my phone (due to company staying with us who was leaving on an early flight). I not only checked on the flight status, I looked at my social media notifications and read some of them in full.

    Then my mind flashed back to this post…

    I thought about the things you mentioned. The one point of yours I kept coming back to was “making content creation the first thing you do in the morning.”

    Wow! It hit me how much I had read – just in the few Tweets I had glanced at – and how those could really influence my writing. While I do draw from the news in my writing on occasion, I contemplated your suggestion to write first.

    I’ve kept thinking about it and re-read your post a couple of times so it could really sink in…

    I am going to try your suggestion in the morning (actually later today as it’s 1:27am – long night!) and avoid as much outside influence before I write.

    Oh, I did do #1 on Tuesday. I’m looking forward to an email from me for me at the end of July. 🙂 I can see myself going back to send more future letters to me in the days to come.

    Thank you for the encouragement to try something new with my writing routine!

    ~Adrienne

  26. These are great ideas. I have to write myself a letter today. And I might have to write myself a letter every month.

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  28. Maxi says:

    Regina I love your blog! I recently started my own blog sunflowerhappy.com and I don’t think I could have done it without you and your advice.

    I can’t wait to try futureme.org and I will definitely try to start writing first thing in the morning!

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