The other side of taking a refreshing break is the crushing feeling of being forced to stop with a routine that actually works as a sacrifice to a higher cause. I was busy with this, this and this and then it all had to stop when this started. The student mentioned in the latter had a similar setback when she changed from one study plan that worked, to another that she hoped would be even better. It wasn’t better and it wasn’t pleasant trying to recover the lost time. It was still worth trying though, because breaking up your routine can indeed be invigorating for some of the reasons below.
Change is good for you!
You know what works – because when you stop doing it, it doesn’t work.
You know what is important to you – At the moment I eat dinner at work two days in the week. It’s easier than eating at home very late and the food is quite good and it’s inexpensive. But how I miss sitting at the little table eating our home-cooked food together!
You realise you were doing fine – because now that you’ve stopped for a bit there isn’t a drama unfolding, e.g. you don’t need to work your full personal accounts every week if the bills are still paid and there is money enough to eat.
It opens your mind – when you make a change the ripples affect other responsibilities and you get ideas on how to get the important stuff done. Some of those ideas will be really good and useful.
You got some mad skills - If you are able to take on a new challenge and rearrange your life around it, you have some serious planning/organisational skills and will power. You better put that on your CV.
Robots – Mr Routine says ‘Every day I eat my dinner at 6pm and then I have a bath at 8pm and then I watch TV until 10:30pm.’ Maybe you could take a shower once a week so that you can go to Bingo with your friends instead of watching TV? You are in charge of your routine, it is not in charge of you.
Chaos is not as hot as it looks, a little change can be hotter – If you are crazy all the time you are not crazy, you are normal (because being crazy is what you normally do) and everyone knows what to expect. Excitement is in the contrast. They couldn’t believe their eyes when Mr Routine turned up at the Bingo last night!
If someone swears all the time you don’t even notice. If you never swear, when you finally tell someone to ---- off it has quite an affect. Shake things up now and then and see what happens!
Train tracks - Routines help you get things done and keep a clear head, which means you can take yourself down a detour when there is a fallen tree blocking your route. You can enjoy some unfamiliar scenery, maybe get a little fresh perspective and afterwards you can rejoin your usual track and continue with some great new ideas.
Routine is it’s own reward – Washing up is a chore. If we don’t wash up we pay for it the next day with a big mess and a lack of utensils. If we do wash up, we talk a lot, listen to music, dance a little in the kitchen and suddenly it’s done. In the morning all tools are ready and available for use. Eat dinner, then wash-up. Routine.
But sometimes we just have better things to do than wash up so we don’t do it. Ha!
You bend like the willow – your life is like the wind blowing through the branches of your routine. The willow is flexible and strong. The willow changes with the seasons. The willow loses some leaves and the willow grows new leaves. Oh how wise and graceful is the willow! (You.)
Co-founder, The Clean Sheet