How To Break Your Routine (And Why It’s Needed)

This week has been filled with changes to my routine. I’ve slept in, stayed off the computer at night when my husband is home for the most part, and read during the day when I’m supposed to be working. This may sound like the opposite of productivity to you, but it’s the exact opposite. It took me working through my weekend (full 8 hour+ days each day) in order to prepare for the shop launch tomorrow for me to see this as an acceptable work method. But now? I’ve never felt better. Not only that, but I’m actually ahead on my to-do list. So this week I wanted to take some time and share some ideas for breaking out of the routine you’ve slumped into and hopefully spike your creativity.

While most of these tips are geared towards those who are self-employed or have a lot of flexibility with their schedule, most of these tips can be applied to your life in some shape or form!

1. Change up your work hours if you can

This is one of the easiest ways to break out of the daily grind that you’ve fallen into. Maybe you feel like sleeping in one day, or maybe the spark of creativity hits you right before you’d normally crawl into bed. Or maybe you want to take a trip in the middle of the week when the crowds are less busy and you’re able to enjoy yourself more so you work on the weekend. The glory of working for yourself is that you have a massive amount of control over your time and when it’s spent doing things. So use that to your advantage, even if it means working unconventional hours.

2. Allow for time for yourself

Give yourself some slack from time to time and skip the whole to-do list for a day. Do what needs to be done and then call it quits to take some time out for you. Read, watch a movie, get a massage – do something that’s strictly something positive for yourself. Not only do you deserve it, but your customers will appreciate the new, refreshed you that comes back to answer their emails the next day. Give as much as you give to your clients/customers to yourself on a regular basis. Your chores, tasks, emails, posts, etc can all wait a few hours or day. I promise.

3. Do something totally out of the ordinary regularly

Sometimes our routine becomes boring because we lose that sense of wonder. We’re no longer guessing what will happen and now almost exactly how our days will play out. So shake it up! Take a different route to a place you regularly go, visit a new place, do something you’ve been nervous to do, take on a new project, or maybe it’s as simple as doing one of these 5 tips if it’s way out of your regular routine. Break up the repetitiveness by adding something exciting to your business (or even your personal life!)

4. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy

I pride myself on staying pretty organized and maintaining a relatively clean workspace. But that doesn’t mean I’m afraid to get messy. I love pulling out my markers, paints, and whatever else to create something. And when my crafts aren’t enough, I take to the kitchen. I love making a new project or a new dish without a care about how much glitter I spread over our carpet or how many utensils or pots I use for something. When those moments of creativity strike, I rarely use instructions or recipes. It’s much more relaxing to just build as you see fit.

5. Start saying yes or no more often

Some people are prone to saying yes too much and burning themselves out. AKA me. And on the other side of that, some people are likely to say no before the thought is even finished. So start saying the opposite. Turn down opportunities if they aren’t in your best interest if you are over-extending your time. This will give you the time you need to change up your routine. And if you’re prone to saying no, give new things a shot. You never know when you’ll find something you love by just giving it a chance.

* Bonus tip: Don’t have the time to add something into your routine right now? Or maybe you can’t change up your hours? Do your tasks in reverse order for a day to see if something works better in the AM/PM. This is an easy way to change up the daily schedule and add something interesting to your day.

The How-To/5 Tips is a weekly series, dedicated to answering some of the most popular questions I’ve been asked through consulting and on my blog. Want tips on something similar in nature? Or maybe you want more personalized advice? Send me an email at afterninetofive@gmail.com.

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Comments

  1. Great tips!! Can't wait to see the new shop launch tomorrow! :)

  2. I agree with Cassie. Also,I ALWAYS get a spark of creativity before bed (or while I'm SUPPOSED to be sleeping…). Should I write down my ideas then,or what? (I never do,but maybe I should…?) Thanks. :)

  3. This is a really great post – and much needed for me and my life right now. :) Thanks for sharing!

  4. I need to learn to say NO more often as I always feel if I say NO I will be letting someone down and so I say YES and end up stretching myself thin

  5. I love this. Settling into a routine can be goidBut it can also make us blind to new possibilities. These are some great tips to break out of that!