Perhaps Too Routine

By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Yes We Can

As a standard, I tend to be pretty spontaneous. I have to be when it comes to my work (or “works.” depending on where or when you find me). Any creative project I work on requires flexibility, a bit of improvisation, and an ability to roll with the punches. With an “anything goes” sort of schedule, I have to have some structure in there to prevent overlapping, overbooking, and stretching myself too far.

When a busy lifestyle meets a needed routine, can a person become too structured?

I recently wanted to explore some new ideas. A whole week was visualized with new concepts and goals to complete. Yet by the end of the weekend, not one of new tasks had been accomplished. The weekly routine tasks were checked off, but all of it passed by on autopilot. When it came to everything else, I had to tell myself “I’ll do it next week.”

Structure and organization are important, but they can’t limit creativity as a compromise. Habits make sure we get things done without thinking about it too much, but is “not thinking” the correct solution or simply another distraction?

Even routines have flaws. Think about the stress involved when we miss a small deadline or the guilt if personal standards aren’t met. We become dependent on things working a certain way every time, and are unable to create alternate solutions, or improve our personal situations to avoid becoming stagnant.

Personal growth and improvement doesn’t come from repeatedly doing the same thing to ensure the same results. Sometimes, our best ideas come from saying “No” to ourselves, and taking a moment to schedule some spontaneity.

Scheduling spontaneity sounds like a complete contradiction, but a good rescheduling of daily tasks and allowing time to push forward on new ideas keeps us out of the “second nature” ruts and gives us something to look forward to.

I’ve blocked off some time tomorrow to try those new things I wanted to do last week. It’s still a bit of a rigid format, but at least it’s a step out of complacency, and allows some flexibility a renewed creative process.

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Categories: Opinion