Break the Pattern, Get Out of the Rut

It doesn’t really matter how much you love your job and how engaged you manage to get in any given project. Eventually, there is a very good chance that you are going to hit a brick wall. It’ll feel like you’re running on a treadmill to nowhere. It’ll feel like you stopped moving forward. During times like these, it is positively imperative that you find a way to get out of the rut. One way to do that is to break your typical pattern.

Whether you’re a freelance writer, medical laboratory technologist, or an accounts payable clerk, you will usually establish some kind of daily routine when it comes to the world of work. This routine can help improve your productivity and increase your efficiency, but it will eventually feel like you hit some sort of plateau. You may even start to exhibit symptoms of cabin fever if you lock yourself down into a bunker of an office. That’s not healthy.

What you need to do, then, is to disrupt this routine. Do something different for a change. Taking the example of a work-from-home professional, this could be as simple as packing up your laptop and working from the coffee shop for a couple of days. The change in surroundings really can work wonders.

In the past, I would feel compelled to work on holidays. While everyone else went out to celebrate, I’d hunker down and get some work done. I may still do that from time to time, but I’ve learned that leisure time with friends and family can be just as, if not even more important. That’s why I spent Canada Day listening to live jazz and meandering through Downtown Vancouver. This offered a mental break and some reprieve from the stresses of working.

Further to this end, whether through planning or through blind luck, I’m finding myself doing a fair bit of travel this summer. As you may already know, I spent about ten days in Taiwan for Computex Taipei and another week in Los Angeles for E3. In a few short days, I’ll be heading on the road again for the Nokia N97 mini Tour. By breaking the pattern, by disrupting the routine, I can make “work” feel rewarding again. That’s a good thing.

Getting the job done is important. Improving your effectiveness is important. Paying the bills is important. At the same time, working long hours on a consistent basis and hunkering down into the same tired routine every day can be very hazardous to your health.

Take a moment to acknowledge your efforts and reward yourself accordingly. The break and/or change in scenery can be positively refreshing.