4 Tools I Use to Find Clarity on a Regular Basis

I used to think clarity was something that only came to us in flashes of “epiphany-like” moments.

But recently, I’ve realised that it’s an active process.

One that we can directly influence through our actions.

What follows are 4 of the most effective tools that help me find clarity on a regular basis:

  1. Morning Pages
  2. Weekly Braindump + Goal-Setting
  3. Long (and easy) Zone 2 Training
  4. Future Self Coaching

#1 – Morning Pages

In a nutshell, this involves opening an a4 journal first thing every morning and writing non stop until you’ve filled 3 pages.

You just write unfiltered about everything that’s on your mind — and I mean everything.

For example, if you’re writing about a creative project and then you suddenly think: “I need to call John”, then you write that down too.

It’s an exercise in completely emptying your mind of all content before you start the day – without judgement.

It’s amazing to see what comes up when you just write unfiltered. It’s sort of like free therapy, and I also find I’m more creative throughout the day if I’ve taken time to do this in the morning.

Source: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

#2 – Weekly Braindump + Goal Setting

At the end of every week, I go for a short walk (approx. 15 minutes) and open a note on my phone, with the heading: “What’s weighing on my mind right now?”

Then, I’ll make a list of all of the projects that are currently bugging me or competing for my attention.

This is the “braindump” stage.

Once that’s complete, I’ll transfer that list to my laptop and then convert each item into a goal or desired outcome for the week ahead.

Essentially, this converts all of the “open loops” and stuff floating around my mind into clear outcomes that I can start working towards the following week.

Total game-changer.

Source: GTD by David Allen

#3 – Long (and Easy) Zone 2 Training

Once a week, usually on a Sunday, I’ll go for a 90 minute run in nature.

The pace is slow and relaxed, and I’m just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying the process of running, rather than trying to break any records.

I might listen to an audiobook or podcast at the start, but somewhere along the way, I switch it off and just let my mind run on whatever problems it wants to solve.

It’s sort of like a moving meditation.

The combination of increased blood-flow (and therefore oxygen) to the brain along with the endorphins (i.e. runner’s high) can be a powerful tool for seeing a problem you’re struggling with from a completely new perspective.

#4 – Future Self Coaching

Ever notice how easy it is to give good advice to others (e.g., about relationships), but how difficult it is to have this clarity around your own life?

This is known as “Solomon’s Paradox”.

The issue is that we don’t have enough psychological distance from our situation to think objectively about it. 

However, your future self does have this distance, and there’s a way you can tap into their wisdom to improve your clarity and decision making in the present. 

In a nutshell, the idea is to have a kind of “coaching session” with your future self. You do this by opening your journal or a google doc, and literally engaging in a back-and-forth dialogue between your current self and your future self. 

This explainer videohttps://bit.ly/FS-coaching provides step-by-step instructions, and you can use this templatehttps://bit.ly/FS-template to get started.

(Credit = Alex Hormozi.) 

What about you?

How do you find clarity on a regular basis?

Niall McKeever

Niall McKeever

Writer and Founder of The Weekend University. Passionate about making great ideas more accessible.

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