Routine is great. It gives you stability, sets expectations and generally keeps work and life moving at an orderly pace. Even new mothers are taught to put babies into routines as soon as possible. This particular advice saved my life in my early days of motherhood.
We’ve probably all heard the phrase that humans are creatures of habit. Add routine to that. Too much routine, however, can be the kiss of death. It numbs creativity, keeps you in your comfort zone and stunts any personal growth. It can even be an unconscious excuse to avoid change.
I read an article once about how many of us go into “auto-pilot” mode when we get into the car especially if we drive the same routes regularly. We use less of our brain to drive than a new driver does. This natural efficiency should serve us well but does it? I tend to spend that extra “brain time” mulling through issues, thinking about new blog topics (in fact, this one started during that time), planning the rest of my day and so on. What about you?
Like the driving example, routine serves to increase efficiency in other parts of our lives but we can become complacent and instead of consciously and actively putting the rest of our brain to use, it is quite likely that we shift into our comfort zone and get lazy. Do this long enough and you end up with a boring, bland life and wonder why you are in a rut.
If this sounds familiar, it might be time to shake things up a bit. You can start by having a look at your routines whether at home or at work. Start by doing one or two things differently. Keep this up and a few changes to your routines might be enough to jumpstart things. You will feel some discomfort but in that discomfort will come more motivation, creativity and energy.
Routine IS great but don’t let it rule you. So, today, do ONE thing differently.