There’s a daily ritual taking business gurus, entrepreneurs and creative types by storm: “Morning Pages.” It was first introduced by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way.

It’s simply stream-of-consciousness writing done first thing in the morning. Even if writing isn’t your strong suit, this exercise is for you. Regarding what you write, there’s no wrong way to go about this practice. You can jot down your fears, ambitions and daily plans, or you can merely string together words you like – whatever comes to mind. How you go about it is key.

The Technique:

  • Fill three letter-sized pages with writing. Words will likely flow initially. It’s when you get to the second and third pages that you start digging deep, and the good stuff begins to surface.
  • This exercise must be done first thing in the morning when creativity is often at its highest, before you’re bombarded with the tasks and worries of the day.
  • Morning Pages must be handwritten. You may be tempted to use your computer if you type fast, but the goal is to slow down and forge the emotional connection of placing your thoughts on paper.
  • These writings must be kept private. If you’re worried about someone seeing what you’ve written, you may hold back. If you need to destroy the pages when you’re done to ensure complete privacy, go ahead. The power is in the process rather than the product.

Getting your thoughts out at the beginning of the day instead of allowing them to ruminate can help resolve issues, calm your mind and spur insights. It’s a powerful tool for your personal and professional life.

Workplace Application

Create a two- or three-week campaign in which you challenge your employees to complete Morning Pages daily, even before turning on their computers. Ideally, Morning Pages should be done before heading to work, but this may be difficult for some. Since privacy is of utmost importance, encourage employees to immediately shred their pages. Remember, Morning Pages are about the process rather than the finished product. They’re intended to warm up one’s mind and get creative juices flowing. Check in with your team at the end of the challenge to find out if they believe this exercise sparked creativity in their personal life and at work.