On the very early mornings before yoga teacher training, I have been trying to squeeze in a small chunk of academic writing time. To ready myself the night before, I pull up on my laptop the documents I'll be working with. That way, when I roll out of bed, a little groggy, a little creaky, and a little grumpy, I'm not giving myself one more roadblock to sitting down to write. There's the talk I need to give at the end of the week, sitting ready for a bit of work.
This technique isn't so fancy. Indeed, it's the same type of behavior many of our parents encouraged in us when we were little when they asked us to pack our school bags the night before. But as I think through the struggles of getting started or gettting into our "seats" (whether that means getting to the writing desk or getting to the writing studio), I release the importance of practices that set us up to succeed in overcoming inertia--that hulking monster!
One of my writing teachers and one of the earliest places I encountered the idea of writing as a daily practice is Joan Bolker's Writing Your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day. In addition to the idea of daily practice (hint: it turns out you can't quite write a dissertation in 15 minutes a day, but if you give 15 minutes everyday, chances are, they'll turn into more minutes), she suggested techniques like the one I mention above for helping those 15 minutes happen. She calls pre-preparing "parking on a downhill slope." I like the ease of her metaphor. If inertia is a big hill, starting from zero each morning seems like a recipe for failure. Instead, by setting up your workspace, gathering your materials, and even starting a little bit the night before, you're setting yourself to slide more easily into your daily practice. This could look like putting your yoga clothes and yoga mat by the door, or it could mean finding the books and notes you need the day before you plan to write about them. It's all about making it EASIER to get rolling down that hill.
Here's the link to Bolker's book--a good one for dissertation writers, or academics at any stage: