October 2, 2007

Morning ritual

I awoke this morning with a sense of duty to accomplish a handful of tasks that had been put off since sometime last week. Being a freelance journalist definitely has its perks, but denying the comforts of my bed until noon is certainly not one of them.

The typical morning ritual consists of a shower before breakfast, making the bed shortly after dressing and then making a trip to the local coffee shop--who, of course, provides free wireless Internet for us work-at-homes. Doing these tasks in the order I listed is usually helpful in getting me into a productive zone, but I'd be lying if I said it isn't nearly enough until I'm inspired.

For inspiration I usually spend about half an hour on digg.com, which features a multitude of content from blogs, the news and everything else under the sun. A lot of people might say this practice is essentially just me goofing off and taking time away from the real task at hand, the work.

I'll read a "how-to" posts about self-motivation or a science feature story on plants communicating. Usually there is at least one White House related report that catches my attention and probably four concerning apple or Steve Jobs. Sometimes inspiration comes in unlikely places, such as a new post on colourlovers.com, a social-site dedicated to color combinations. The truth is, a news aggregating site like digg is perfect because inspiration can come from just about anywhere.

So I'd have to disagree completely with the argument that the first part of my day is spent goofing around. Digg has become essential to my morning ritual because it allows my mind to wander in all directions seeking the spark of inspiration. Work without inspiration is, well, basically just work.

And I usually avoid that sort of thing by sleeping in until noon.

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