Ever felt like you were stuck in a rut? No new ideas, in fact no ideas. Your day passes like the day before, like the day before. Many people easily fall into this trap that drains their creative juices and numbs them into a very mundane existence. We call it routine. And while a routine has good aspects, it also is a killer of creativity.
So how do you get it back, get back in the flow, get your juices flowing? The answer is usually very simple: break your routine. When we see the same places everyday, talk with the same people, keep the same schedule, our minds become dulled and predictable. So here are a few ways to break the routine.
Change of Location
One of the easiest changes to make, simply go somewhere different. Whether is a short drive to a place you’ve never been, a walk on a new trail, or a full-on road trip, the new views will re-engage your brain and wake up your senses. I live in the midwest, but recently drove through the southwestern states of New Mexico, Arizona, and California. I was amazed on how different the landscape was, and it intrigued me in a new way. It was hard not to look at all the different surroundings. Every turn was new, unique, and exhilarating.
Meet New People
This one can be more difficult for most people, as we usually don’t engage people we don’t know. Give everyone their “space” is the American way. But people are truly diverse and have amazing stories. I sat next to a man on a train, and normally would have put my headphones in and gone to my safe zone. But this day I decide to ask the man a few questions. His story kept me captivated for an hour. He had recently retired from a fascinating job, and moved to a new state. The moving company wanted far too much money to move them, so he was doing it by himself. He would load a moving truck, drive fifteen hours to his new home, and then take a train or plane back to do it again. He was currently on his seventh load and estimating he had three more to go! For me, the art of conversation has come down to asking questions, and listen to the stories that people will tell.
Try Something New
Many people have a to-do list of things they would like to accomplish. Whether it’s a bucket list, or dream list, they create a list of extravagant things to do at some point in their lives. And having these goals is admirable, but don’t lose site of the new things that surround you each day. A new food, different television show, a board game, a book, all things we can easily incorporate into our day that is new. I like to order certain foods at certain restaurants. My reasoning is that I have found something good and why would I stray from that. Recently I challenged that idea. Instead of choosing my usual, I decided to take a second look at the menu and choose something else. While there have been foods I have liked and disliked, it has been fun to break out of the normal and try something new.
In a rut? Break out of your routine and find inspiration again!
Written by: Dr. Dave Feltman, Search Coach at Froot Group