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Be a scientist of your own experience

Kirsten Gallagher, School of Self-Study

"One of my biggest entrepreneurship unlearnings was that I did not need rigid structures and schedules to be productive. A key part of what I teach is to be a scientist of your own experience, to notice what’s not working and adapt accordingly. We don’t do the same things each day because “that’s what we always do.”

We choose how to organize our days and which tools to utilize because they’re serving us well. If you reach the roof, you don’t take the ladder with you! Your needs will change as you do and being a creator is bound to change you.

That being said, my morning writing practice is an enduringly helpful part of setting the stage for productive creation. I’ve used different writing formats and prompts over time, and what’s really supported me in this chapter has been using my writing time to check in with the state of my insides. I’ll generally start by asking, “How are you today?” and writing through everything that’s present, whether it be body sensations, nagging worries, grievances, or gratitudes.

By giving voice to what’s rattling around inside me, I’ve found it’s far less likely to disrupt my focus and this also provides useful data to cue where I might need extra care (phone a friend, stretch, go to bed earlier).

The amount of writing and duration are up to you. I aim minimally for one focused page, and if I’m turning up some interesting insights, I’ll write more but I cut myself off at the hour mark. I fully believe a fruitful write could be done in 15-20 minutes, but even if you only have 5 minutes, it’s better to consistently maintain a small practice than none at all.

Giving my emotional and mental experiences a regular audience has also gifted me greater access to my intuition and creative genius. It settles the dust of my mind and from a place of calm clarity, I jump into the day."

Advice Contributor

Kirsten Gallagher

The School of Self-Study is an online home to learn contemplative tools and build community aligned around living engaged, joyful lives shaped by awareness and connection.

See Kirsten's Site