It was a Friday morning when my partner and I decided to shake up our routine.
“Let’s go to Boston this weekend.” A single, definitive statement that spurred us into action.
The repetitive day-to-day was getting to us. We were irritable, pessimistic, and stressed out. Much of it stemmed from our respective job statuses: him being employed in a job with a difficult boss and me trying to find a full-time job in biotech. Family emergencies took up the remaining portion.
It was like a pressure cooker ready to explode.
We needed a quick getaway.
When the day-to-day gets overwhelming
There’s nothing wrong with an effective routine. It keeps you on track for completing projects and fulfilling obligations. It settles your expectations and enforces the discipline needed to be productive.
However, routines alone have their downsides. They can tunnel your vision to only your individual circumstances and result in mental exhaustion. They can become a comfort zone and may offer little opportunity to grow as a human being.
Meditation and keeping journal entries are valid methods to cope with routine. However, these alone do not work for me, and probably don’t work for you either.
You need another place, another setting, or a new hobby to truly separate yourself from your routine.
The power of disrupting the status quo
Being spontaneous is a breath of fresh air in a world ruled by schedules. It’s a way to appreciate the little things and gain perspective on the big picture.
It could be a trip out of town or to your local library. It may be a Meetup event that you’ve never gone to before but have been interested in for a while now. It only needs to be something vaguely unfamiliar to give the sense of change.
So, why am I saying all of this?
In all bluntness, your work is repetitive and gives the impression that you’re just going through the motions of the creative process.
You feel stuck but you rarely leave your studio/office space. You don’t go outside. You don’t go to gatherings or other events. You barely go to your creatives circle group.
Then you wonder why you’re left hitting the metaphorical wall.
Part of the creative process is being spontaneous.
You have to be open to experimentation. You have to be an explorer. If you can’t be this way in your daily life, you’re going to have a hard time moving from that slump.
Channeling your inner spontaneity can be hard
I was (and still am) guilty of the things I’ve written here.
I’ve kept to myself in my office and was unable to write enticing pitches to trade magazines. My letters of introduction fell on deaf ears.
My job search into biotech was yielding little result despite my efforts.
I had gotten sick and things at my hometown weren’t going well.
I was honestly getting frustrated.
Taking that trip to Boston was my spontaneity moment.
Getting away helped clear my head and rekindled the fire within me to keep going. I was able to people-watch and reconnect to the wider world. It made me miss the times I’d just go to the coffee shop or library on a whim before moving away from my hometown.
When we take those moments to decide what we can change to make our lives better, it adds a spice of life that you won’t get from your daily routine.
So be more spontaneous. You don’t have to go far to find something you hadn’t done before.