A lot of the fitness articles I read talk about the importance of varying your routine to accelerate your improvements in workouts. The premise is that if you do the same exercises all the time and use the same amounts of weight, your body gets used to the routine and becomes more efficient. What that means is that you get less benefit out of the same amount of effort.
I think that concept can apply to other parts of life, to some degree. If you keep doing the same thing week in & week out, the routine can get a bit dull, and you don't improve your skills as much as when things were new and challenging.
So, what kinds of things can you do to change up your routine and make it challenging again? Here are some ideas (a mix of personal and professional kinds of things):
- Read a different kind of book to make your mind think about new things.
If you usually read fiction, read some non-fiction. If you usually read management books, read some fantasy. If you usually read self-help books, try reading a few biographies instead.
- Take on a new project in an unfamiliar area.
Sometimes, nothing helps get your juices going like working on something unfamiliar. Ask to be involved in (or even lead) a project in a new area.
- Swap the cerebral for the physical.
If you normally spend most of your time in front of your computer, how about starting a project or activity that requires you to get out and do something physical? It could be sports-related, or it could be carpentry, or even just cleaning out your garage. Get moving!
- Put yourself out there.
Volunteer to teach something - even holding a brown bag lunch on a topic you know can be challenging fun. Start presenting - either at work or in a group like Toastmasters. Or, do a video blog or something you've never done before online.
And there are, of course, lots of other possibilities.
So, what do you think? Does this ring true for you? What have you done to mix things up in your life that you'd recommend to others?