Do something different today
Switch off your autopilot
Hey there —
Raise your hand if you love a good routine. (Yeah, us too.) 🙋
In a world full of unpredictability, routines can feel like our BFF.
Our schedules keep us organized and on time. Strategic systems make our work more efficient and consistent. Daily rhythms improve our productivity, provide a sense of stability during stressful times, and may even help us find meaning in life.
And of course, good routines and healthy habits go hand-in-hand. 🤝
So with all these benefits, we should definitely stick to our routines and resist any temptation to break them, right?
Because, like a scientist in a Spider-Man comic, routines also have a villainous side. 😈
Over-adherence to our routines can lead to inflexibility, boredom, fatigue, and complacency. Wrapped up in our color-coded Google calendars and everyday rituals, we wind up moving through life on autopilot, failing to really experience the world around us.
Before you know it, we’re stuck in a rut. Or worse — in our comfort zone.
That’s why it’s okay — and even important — to take an occasional, intentional break from your routines.
Much of our day involves the same activities at the same times in the same places. And when you stray from this well-worn path, it’s like forcing your brain to get off the couch and get some exercise.
With your autopilot switched off, your brain can’t rely on shortcuts and has to actually pay attention, make new connections, and forge new pathways. The result is a departure from the ordinary that can help prevent burnout, decrease your resistance to change, spark creativity and resourcefulness, and lead to unexpected moments of joy.
There’s even a word for this in Japanese: datsuzoku, one of the seven principles of Zen aesthetics. It’s often described as a feeling of surprise, excitement, or amazement as you break free from routine or habit and look at your surroundings differently. 😯
This doesn't mean that you have to ditch your schedule altogether, end a healthy habit streak, or swap lives with your nextdoor neighbor. It can be as simple as looking for small ways to change things up.
Take a different running, walking, or driving route. Work from a coffee shop instead of your home office. Read a book in a genre you don’t normally pick up. Order something besides your “usual” for lunch. Create art with a different medium.
Whether planned or spontaneous, these little deviations from the norm offer the opportunity for curiosity, experimentation, discovery, and growth.
So if you’re feeling disconnected, uninspired, or worn out from the daily grind, try shaking things up. Who knows — trying something new each day might just become your new favorite routine. 💃
Why your creativity insists you break out of your routines
by Steven Bradley
If you’re struggling to come up with new creative ideas or solutions, then a departure from routine may be just the thing you need.
In this article, writer and web designer Steven Bradley talks about why creativity needs freedom (and maybe even a little chaos) to flourish. From skipping personalized search results to using a different set of creative tools, he offers some unique suggestions for how to look at the same old in a new way.
by Crash Course
If you’re getting ready to head back to college (or attend your first year! 🎉) Crash Course’s Study Skills playlist on YouTube is here to help you crush it in class.
Even if you’re not a student, the lessons on taking notes, memory, focus, and procrastination offer great advice for anyone who needs to remember things or get stuff done. (Aka, all of us.)
And since Crash Course comes from the brilliant minds of brothers John and Hank Green, it’s a guarantee that these videos are both highly educational and fun.
Here's a way to make sure you actually read the books you buy
by Beth Skwarecki
Could your TBR pile cause a small natural disaster if it were to topple over? Or maybe you’re more prone to hoarding craft supplies or collecting stacks of video games? 📚
Whatever your hobby obsessions, read on for a clever tip to help you resist the urge to impulse buy or add another item to the pile before you’re ready to enjoy it.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
Written by Ashley Martin
Edited by Matt D'Avella