The Importance of Shaking Up Your Routine
You get up at the same time each and every morning. You grab your cup of coffee, check some emails, and then get dressed for the day. It’s the same routine over and over again—and, at this point, it’s so ingrained that you likely do it without even a second thought.
To a certain extent, we’re all like this. As humans, we thrive on at least a little bit of routine. Predictability and stability are comforting, and they allow us to approach each and every day with what feels like a sense of order and efficiency.
However, all too often, our routines become the masters of us—rather than the other way around. We do things simply because we’ve always done them, and not necessarily because they’re helpful or productive.
So, what’s the best way to prevent becoming so obsessed with your routine that it ultimately just gets in your own way? Well, shaking things up every now and then is a great place to start.
Yes, for creatures of habit especially, the idea of throwing a wrench in your perfectly polished schedule for each day is enough to make you want to breathe into a paper bag. But, don’t panic yet!
There are a few very convincing reasons that might have you humming a different tune when it comes to switching up your beloved routine. Check out these advantages that come along with a little change of pace, and you’ll feel ready to stray from the same old, same old.
1. Increase Your Productivity
Many of us are inclined to think that a predictable routine allows us to be more productive. And, in some cases, that’s true—a systemized approach can help prevent us from wasting time or working inefficiently.
However, as it turns out, too much of a routine can actually hinder our productivity. Why? Well, to put it simply, sticking firmly to a routine can limit how well we’re able to pick up new skills and retain new knowledge. We become so glued to our tried and true routine, we have trouble absorbing anything that falls outside of that neatly packaged box.
Benedict Carey, author of How We Learn, adds to this point when he says that, “Changing your work environment and daily movements—taking a different route to work, for example—can maximize the brain’s effectiveness, allowing you to retain more information and be more successful.”
Yes, it’s all too easy to think that you’re already a well-oiled machine with the perfect system in place for cranking out your work. However, straying from your usual routine makes your brain that much sharper—which is bound to make you that much more productive.
2. Encourage Creativity
If you’ve ever spent hours with your butt glued in the same chair at the same desk for hours on end (and, honestly, who hasn’t?), you already know how physically, mentally, and emotionally draining that can be. You end the day feeling completely wiped and uninspired.
It’s for this very reason that getting up and changing your routine (or, more specifically, your scenery) can have an amazing impact on your creative thinking skills.
Think about it this way: Moving to a new location gives you a whole new environment that you can pull inspiration from. If you’ve ever been stumped in front of your computer screen, only to step away, go for a walk, and solve your problem instantly, you’re probably already familiar with this phenomenon.
This increased creativity may be why coworking has become popular for many independent workers and solopreneurs who feel the need to take a break from their normal surroundings and seek inspiration elsewhere.
Scenery aside, when you drop your mundane tasks and predictable workflows in favor of changing up your routine even just a little bit, you’re exercising your brain’s neuroplasticity—meaning you’re improving your brain’s ability to form connections between different thoughts, thus making you that much more creative.
So, in other words, if you’re aiming to think outside the box, you might need to go ahead and step outside the box of your tried and true routine.
3. Roll With the Punches
Your work is always changing. Nothing stays the same forever. Your career is pretty fluid—which means your routine should be too.
However, so many of us fall into the trap of becoming way too married to our routines. We commit to things because they’ve become our accepted standard, and not necessarily because they’re effective, productive, or smart. This often leads us to disregard or overlook new, innovative approaches to efficiency and creativity that could otherwise help our work.
This is one of the key reasons that changing your routine can be so good for you and your workflow. If you’re willing to make small tweaks here and there, you have an opportunity to take a magnifying glass to your current approach, determine what works and what doesn’t, and then make the necessary adjustments from there.
Knowing that you don’t need to be stuck in a specific routine—particularly one that isn’t necessarily working for you—will allow you to change your approach to suit your work, and not the other way around.
Ultimately, a routine should be something that helps you, rather than slow you down. And, sometimes, making the most of your routine means you need to shake things up every once in awhile.
Yes, straying away from the safe and predictable approach can feel a little counterintuitive or scary. But, as you now know, it can yield some awesome results. Give it a try for yourself and you’re sure to see the benefit!