I'm a big fan of the morning pages ritual, though I do struggle these days to keep my streak going for very long.
What I'm experimenting with now, though, is adding a little more structure to my pages. Not something overbearing (the whole point of morning pages is for it to be free, stream-of-consciousness writing), but more a footnote. Once my daily pages are dumped from my brain, I've started adding three lists: Focus, Fears and Excitement.
What am I working on today? What's going to get done today, no matter what? What should I be implicitly saying "no" to in order to deliver or achieve the things on this list?
And, possibly most important, how many things did I just write down? If I'm "focusing" on ten different things, I'm probably not focussing on any of them.
What's likely to blindside me today? What am I worried about? What potential self-sabotage do I have lurking? Compiling this list after the focus list feels correct, as I'll probably have dredged up some worry or fear about the things I'm saying no to.
Catch it while it's fresh!
To provide balance and perspective after the Fears list, what's coming up today that I'm super exited about? What bit of today can I not wait for? What's driving me to do all this stuff in the first place?
Hopefully something, right?
I have no idea how this will work out, but it's fun to experiment. If nothing else, maybe it'll help keep me from that other ritual of taking on too much each day, then beating myself up for not getting any of it done.