Don’t wait for snow to shake up your routine at work. Change is good.
Sure, the recent snowstorms visiting the Seattle area have been hugely inconvenient. Schools were closed, flights canceled, packages failed to arrive, many roads became nearly impassable, and grocery stores ran out of everything from beer to broccoli.
Yes, broccoli. I saw it with my own eyes.
If you are someone who gets paid only for hours worked, and you were forced to miss some hours, your paycheck may have a hole in it. If you have kids whose schools were temporarily closed, you may have had to make other arrangements, perhaps costing you even more money.
But admit it. A break from our routines can be refreshing. Even inspiring.
The fact is that downtime works to replenish the brain’s supply of motivation. Shaking up our schedules also improves memory function, productivity and creativity. While it may sound paradoxical, taking our minds off our work for a little while actually helps us focus better on our work.
Or maybe it’s not paradoxical. Our bodies need breaks to stay healthy. Well, it’s the same for our brains.
So here’s an idea. Why not give yourself an occasional “snow day” regardless of the weather? It doesn’t even have to be a whole day (although that would be great if you could swing it every now and then). It can just be enough time to get up and go for a walk outside, or take a catnap, or have a delicious cup of coffee or tea — anything that changes your environment and allows your mind a reset. Even switching up the order in which you do things at work can feel novel and thus refreshing.
Who knows? You might eventually find time to pursue a creative hobby or to go on a trip you’ve always dreamed of. And it’s not too late to rededicate yourself to that exercise regimen you maybe resolved to start last month. The point is that the energy spent on nonwork activities comes back to us many times over.
Maintaining a consistent routine is a good thing in that it helps us stay on task and makes us more organized. But it can also wear us down. So why not make it part of your routine to from time to time break your routine?