The start of a new year is a terrific time to let go of comfortable habits and shake up your routine. Why? Because doing things the same way year in, year out might be expedient, but it can also get you stuck in a rut. Alternatively, switching things up might be uncomfortable, but it fosters creativity. And why not start 2016 off with a burst of brilliant new ideas?
There are myriad ways to change your morning routine. For example, you could wake up 20 minutes early and go for a walk; dance to your favorite music or do something else you enjoy that you wouldn't usually do; sit it in a different chair at breakfast, even if it's a matching chair just a few feet from the one you usually use; take a new route to work, and if you drive alone, commute with a colleague; or enter your office building by a different door than usual.
You could switch things up throughout the workday in many ways, as well. For example, you could switch the order of your work tasks. If, say, you check emails first, make a few phone calls first instead; close your office door and do yoga or simple stretches for a few minutes when you need a break; invite a colleague to check out a new café or restaurant for lunch; visit a museum, go on a tour of special gardens or noteworthy architecture, attend a play, or enjoy some other event after work; or hold your smartphone in your left hand when accepting a call if you usually hold it in your right.
Remember, small changes can be just as effective in stimulating creativity as larger ones. So do a combination of big and small new things throughout the day. At day's end you could, for example, check out a library book on an intriguing topic that's outside of your areas of expertise; sing a song to your spouse or other loved one before dinner; if you typically turn on the TV at a certain time, take a walk around the block instead and greet neighbors you see along the way; refrain from checking your email, social networks and favorite websites and play a game with family or friends instead; wear mismatched pajamas to bed.
When you follow the same path every day, you tend to pay less attention to your environment. Doing something different, even something seemingly insignificant, can bring you more fully into the present moment, and this is where creative ideas flow more freely. As Paul H. Green said in Good SellingSM: The Basics, "Simple changes in your daily activities can leave you with a new attitude that will transform you into a refreshed and rejuvenated sales professional." And that's a strong way to begin 2016.
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