Your routine is probably a big part of your life. It contributes to what is known as your comfort zone. Your comfort zone usually consists of places, people, behaviors, attitudes, and a habitual routine, all of which work together to provide you with familiarity.
To further understand this, consider your own routine. Think about your weekly rhythm. You probably have a pretty defined routine of work life if you are employed, or even if you work for yourself. Then, after work you likely have a certain routine to simmer down. You probably even walk on a certain side of the road in certain places. You can be in your comfort zone on one side of a road, and out of it on the other.
At weekends, although this might seem like your most spontaneous time, you likely drink at the same place, sleep in until a similar time on your days off, and relax with the family in a particular way, probably on a sunday. You probably shop at the same supermarket, on the same day every week. Anything outside of this routine constitutes a breaking of it, and probably feels “weird.”
What Is The Purpose Of Routine?
A routine can serve a purpose when employed deliberately. It can help you to schedule your day, week, and month. It can increase your productivity, make sure everything gets done, whilst breaking down your free time into convenient and digestible slots. The problem is that over time your routine serves only to restrict you; you become a slave to it, and it becomes increasingly difficult to see outside of the comfort zone that you have created.
Often, routines and comfort zones are not created deliberately, but are a by-product of repetitive thought and behavior. If you do the same thing everyday then eventually your brain will simply act on autopilot. It already knows how to react to the situations it is faced with, because they are always the same. It is comfy. In a very real sense, routine and comfort zones help you to switch off, and feel safe and unchallenged. Some people like this, whilst others find it utterly repulsive.
Why Should You Break It
There are several reasons why it is good to break your routine and step out of your comfort zone: Routine eventually grinds you down, narrows your perspective, cages you, prevents you from trying new experiences, and even defines you. It can start to feel like you are your routine.
It is your job to shake it up, break it down, and act out of character every now and then. You can chop and change and play and eventually you can create a new routine.
For now, if your comfort zone is causing you severe boredom whilst offering little in terms of growth and stimulation, then it is definitely time for change. You need to freshen your mind, and breaking your routine can even help you to transform who you are, or who you consider yourself to be. It is liberating.
How To Break Your Routine
- Visit new places- Your comfort zone is largely dependent on being familiar with your environment. One of the quickest and easiest way to break your routine is to visit somewhere different. This can be a day trip away, a vacation, a travel spell, or some time at a friend’s place. For maximum effect try to engage with a culture or place that is completely different to what you are used to. If you live in the city, take a country break, if you live in the country go to the big city. This adds valuable perspective to the experience.
- Meet new people- The people in your life act as mobile comfort zones, and your routines usually dictate who you see, when you see them, and in what circumstances. Break the mold by visiting someone who you wouldn’t usually visit, reignite an old friendship, or put yourself in a situation where you can meet totally new people.
- Disrupt your routine- Acting spontaneously can break your routine. If you get a sudden pull towards a coffee shop, then just go in. It doesn’t matter that you have never been before, that is the whole point. Walk into an art gallery or bathe in that stream that always looks so refreshing. The trick here is to go with your impulses.