Routine-Busting: How To Break Free From Barriers In The New Year


October 10, 2013

Do you ever have those days when you look back at the last few weeks and all the days run together?  Days that in hindsight were made up of answering endless email and responding to voice mail?  Days where work was shoving you in one direction when you really wanted to go another?

Bloom-AppWe all have days like those.  The key is taking notice and intentionally taking steps to get free from the routine that can drain efficiency, creativity, innovation and the “spark” you need to make good work results into great work results.

As the new year approaches, it seems to be a natural time marker to make us want to resolve to do things better.  Instead of taking on lofty goals that require major behavior changes that we will likely never achieve, why not resolve to make a few small changes for first quarter?  Then, if those stick, amp those up for Q2.  Here are a few ways to ease into resolutions that will stick and actually make a difference in your ability to bust your routine:

  • Instead of grabbing another cup of coffee, resolve to take a brisk walk for 10 minutes mid-morning and another mid-afternoon.
  • Only check email a few times a day, not ongoing throughout the day.  Cutting down the distractions will allow you to complete thought processes for projects and provide better work product.
  • Plan to work from somewhere other than your desk a few hours each week.  Change the scenery and work from another office, from a park, from the local coffee house.

One new tool to help you schedule in your changes and “bust” your current routine is Bloom. Bloom is a new app for iPhones from Mindbloom.  This app allows the user to create reminders for things that can change your routine.  You can add pictures and music to your reminders to make them more creative and fun.  I’ve been using Bloom for about four weeks and it has made a difference.  Sure, the changes seem small, but I’m already feeling more energized, more creative and the spark is back.

What are your plans for the new year?  How will you resolve to make 2013 your best year yet?



  • A good point! While routines can make us more efficient, a little change can make us much more engaged. I think your third point about working elsewhere can make all the difference. Doing your day in reverse can also shake things up. For example, if you usually go to the gym after work, go before it. If you have a team meeting at the start of the day, do it at the end. Playing around like this can make all the difference.
    Always enjoy your posts!

  • I’ll try to follow a few and yes changing the order of your routine tasks definitely brings the result. Rest for every person there is a different dose so either find your medicine first or doctor, as always choice remains with you. Interesting read.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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