Revamp Your Routine
Easy Tricks for Crushing the Daily Grind
Ever get the feeling that your life is eerily similar to the movie Groundhog Day—that you’re essentially living the same day over and over again? Most of us can relate to the sense of déjà vu that comes from following a routine that’s turned, well, routine. But you were meant for more. We all were. Here are some tips for shaking up your schedule in the new year.
Do 9 to 5 differently.
Most of us can’t get away with not going to work, but we can change how we get there. Try leaving your home a few minutes early to take a new route, carpool with colleagues, or use public transportation. Depending on how close you live to your gig, you might be able to walk, bike or rollerblade there to kick-start your day. While you’re at it, visit a new coffee shop on the way. Bonus points for striking up a conversation with someone new while you’re in line. And instead of eating lunch with a computer screen, invite someone you’d like to get to know better to join you. Hell, treat yourself to a lunch date and try out a straight razor shave at the barbershop around the corner, or pop into that boutique you’ve been meaning to check out.
Play it cool.
Play is more than just pleasurable. Neurologist Dr. Stuart Brown asserts that it’s actually essential to social connection, adaptability, creativity and problem-solving. Unsure how to incorporate “play” into your life? Your childhood can be a terrific source of inspiration. Think back to those activities that made you lose track of time when you were younger. Did you command an electric guitar à la Jimi Hendrix? Now’s the time to dust off that ax. Did you find yourself writing and acting out stories as a kid? Try your hand at an improv class for a cool way to exercise your imagination.
Make a friend request.
One of the best ways to switch up your routine is by asking for a little help. By following recommendations instead of our usual tendencies, we give ourselves the opportunity to expand our horizons. Ask some of your friends to offer up a few of their favorite things—be it a sci-fi flick, an EDM playlist or an Ethiopian restaurant—and give one or two of the most intriguing picks a try. Even if you don’t find yourself in a love match with a recommendation, you’ll have a new appreciation for someone else’s perspective.
Get more time.
Ideas for spicing up your schedule are great, but what’s even better is having more time to do whatever you want. Here are a few tricks to help make the most of your time from productivity guru David Allen:
- Quit trying to keep everything in your mental Rolodex. Integrate a system where you capture every to-do—whether it’s an app like Evernote or a good old-fashioned Moleskine notepad. This way you aren’t wasting brainpower on those items that tiptoe into your thoughts when you don’t have the time or the mind space to deal with them.
- Now, organize your list into projects and action steps. Project: Plan a road trip. Action Steps: Coordinate travel dates with friends and research the best things to see and do when you get there.
- Allen says that most of us have more than 30 projects and 150 action steps on our plates at any given time, so keeping organized is key. We recommend mapping out the projects and action steps along with your big-picture goals, using tools like mindmeister or simply by doodling them out on a whiteboard or in a notebook.
Now we’re expecting you to make some waves. Need a little visual inspiration? Follow the blu team on Instagram as we document our own routine-busters.