Routines are comforting, but they can also stunt creativity. Many people work best when they have a set schedule, or a least have some regularity in their days and weeks. Routines help us hold ourselves accountable. They provide a framework within which we can be productive. Routines allow our brains to be creative where it matters instead of deciding what to do every hour of every day.

Still, routines can make us complacent. If we keep a routine for long enough, we stop noticing it. Think about your morning routine. Do you decide every day whether to take a shower or bath? Whether to brush your teeth before or after you dry your hair? Whether to put on your pants first or your shoes first?

For most of us, these decisions were made over time, and we don’t think about them any more. They’re no longer decisions. They’re routines. They are efficient. They keep us from losing time and misplacing our belongings.

Still, there’s something to be said for mixing things up a bit. A change in routine can make us anxious when it’s out of our control, but when it’s deliberate, it can jumpstart creativity. Consider making a little change to one of your routines:

  • Order your coffee differently, or get it somewhere new
  • Listen to a different radio station in the car, or turn it off
  • Take a different route to a familiar place
  • Take your laptop outside to work
  • Sleep on a different side of the bed
  • Do your shopping at a different time of day

Make a tiny little change to just one of your routines and see what you notice. Maybe you’ll see new people. Or see the light hit the room in a new way. Or discover you like something new.

Ruffle a routine’s feathers and watch the creativity flow!

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