Have you noticed how much of our lives tend to slip away in routine? Some of it consists of habits and customs we develop to allow us to live on automatic pilot. Other parts are accepted norms of behaviour that we don’t question. Examples include what we eat and when we eat it, where we sit, in our home and in meetings, what we say to people as a greeting – the list goes on!
There is a usefulness to routine – it allows us to think about something else, or not think at all! But it can also close down our creativity, our curiosity and even our consciousness of being truly alive.
We all tend to enjoy a break from routine, such as a holiday, and re-find our sense of fun, our vitality. My question is, why wait? Every day we have an opportunity to do something different, to take a break from routine, and re-vitalise ourselves. Sometimes it may be on a grand scale: a friend of mine recently decided to take two of those days in lieu that often accumulate at short notice, and just got in the car and went somewhere she had never been to before, with nothing booked or planned. It was a lovely adventure that gave her back her energy. Or it may be on a small scale: yesterday I cooked a recipe I have never tried before, and it was delicious!
And what about at work? How many routine reactions do you have? What do you ignore that makes you uncomfortable? What do you accept that you really find unacceptable?
Just imagine how much better workplaces would be if only we challenged more, asked for proper explanations, as our routine, instead of simply thinking that it had to be that way. If we didn’t simply accept the status quo, we would feel better and the world would be a better place.
When we do something different, we wake ourselves up again, remind ourselves that life is an exploration, and we are here to learn, to be creative, to make things better, and to have fun. We revitalise ourselves and tap back into our inner child, who thought life was meant to be good, and always getting better. Don’t let life slip by – do something different today!!
- Suggest a better way of doing something at work today
- Make one change in your routine today and notice what effect it has on you.
- Do something different in one of your ‘routine’ interactions – smile at someone you usually frown at, talk to someone you usually ignore, give a different response next time someone says, “how are you?” – and notice the effect on you and the other person.
- Plan to do something really different – go somewhere you’ve never been, experience something you’ve never tried.
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