Dropkick the routine

April 30th, 2013

Routine is great. It really is. It’s safe, it’s reliable, it’s a wonderful way to get things done. The trouble is that routine very easily can become “stuck in a rut.” Routine also can create habits which while not solely bad, is not always good.

Like Sherlock Holmes, I occasionally feel chained down by the monotony of life, continually solving the same problem over and over again with no hope for advancement.

When reaching this plane of existence sometimes you need a swift kick to remind you that life is more than a schedule.

To be sure, pushing your physical, mental, and emotional limits for great lengths of time is not an ideal way to live (unless you’re a parent… so I’ve been told.) But there is something to be said about fully immersing yourself into something new and exciting to a point where you can forget all the little things that use to bother you.

Possibly the easiest example of this type of plunge is cutting off social network use. Checking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or even RSS regularly can not only become monotonous  but can be a time sink if you are not careful. The best way to help cut back from these little habits is to drop the sites cold turkey.

I have a great admiration for the people who do this and while I do not go to the lengths that others do (closing accounts, deleting apps, etc…) I do find that if I throw myself into projects I will many times not remember to check on these things.

Which I think leads to some interesting observations. When I am putting a lot of time and effort towards people or projects I am excited about or believe in I don’t have the physiological need to interact with people via these mediums.

While time to check things is certainly a factor, the reason for visiting the sites regularly is rarely because I have nothing else to do. It’s not that I don’t want to do hard work, it’s not even that I don’t have hard work to do, but more aptly that the work I have to do is not viewed as rewarding as the reward offered by seeing something fun on the social network.

There’s a lot more to the internet and social networks than I think most of us completely understand. There is a lot of subconscious and behavioral science that is probably extremely fascinating, but I don’t understand.

Which again leads back to my original thought. Sometimes you need to break out of your routine. Maybe it’s enough for you to take a three day long vacation, but to truly reset yourself you need to push yourself so far out of your zone that you can’t even find it when it’s time to go back.