Lay out your clothes

Two mornings a week my alarm buzzes me awake at 5:30 am so I can get to my morning workout class. I NEVER want to go. My mind lists 1000 excuses: “I might be getting sick.” “Sleep is anti-aging.” “I should really be writing not exercising.” And on and on. Most days I have to force myself out of bed.

To make it easier for me, I always lay out my workout clothes the night before. So the first thing I see when I open my eyes are: those stretchy black pants, the running shoes, the socks, running bra, underwear and t-shirt. That pile of clothes gives me one less excuse. I can’t help but get dressed and once I’m dressed, there’s no stopping me.

I always get to class, I always feel better after.

Lately, I’ve been applying the “Lay out your clothes” concept to my writing. I asked myself: what can I do to make it as easy as possible to slip back into my writing each morning?

Rather than lay out my clothes (which might work too!), I lay out my first assignment of the day and I make it as irresistible as I can. If it’s a story I need to edit, I print it out and have it waiting on my desk with my favorite editing pen. If it’s a story I need to write I print out my notes and the instructions: write bad first draft. I know I can do that.

I’ve been getting way more writing done, procrastinating less, and feeling more and more excited about getting to work.

What do you do to help you slip back into your creative work?