Take a vacation from your habits

By JD Bruewer

Summer’s here and the living is easy. Unless you’re the one left in the office while everyone is on vacation. Like many organizations, my office is seeing its share of empty desks this summer. Those of us still here have had to adjust our routines, and that got me thinking. Maybe I should give some of my habits a vacation.

JD Bruewer is a PR specialist at Hamilton County Job & Family Services.

JD Bruewer is a PR specialist at Hamilton County Job & Family Services.

We all have things we do a certain way, just because it’s easier than putting a lot of thought into them. I answer my email in a certain order. I seek out the same administrative assistant in our building, because I always have. I wear a certain style of shirt, because it was functional when I was a journalist. That was more than four years ago.

I don’t usually think about these things, I just do them. I’m sure it’s the same with you. What if, for a week or two, you changed that up? Don’t commit to long-term change, just do things different for a week. Take a different way to work. Work with someone you don’t usually work with. Eat a different lunch. If you’re a writer, try a different style. If you’re a designer, try to go against your instincts, a little.

Why should you do this? Because we are creative people and you can’t create new things when all you do is the same old thing. At best, you’ll find a better way to do something. At worst, you may wake up some corner of your brain that has been asleep for a while.

If you don’t believe me, This LifeHacker article explains how novelty can improve our memory and learning capacity. If you really want to jack your brain, maybe you should go snowboarding.

Or, like me, just change a few habits for a bit.

This is the part of the blog post where I, habitually, reiterate what was written above ...