Like most human beings, I hate flossing. Spending three extra minutes or more per day to rip thread through your gums feels so lame. To help me floss routinely, I’ve started listening to music while I do it in an effort to listen to my entire music library. Fortunately, most boring chores are boring because they are not mentally stimulating and can therefore be supplemented through multi-tasking. Combine one low cognitive activity you enjoy less with a less-involved mental activity you enjoy more. Accept that you need to do boring chores. Find a way to do them faster, better and with an added bit of fun. Gamify them, keep statistics, accomplish other goals while you’re at it – whatever it takes. If you do it right, these otherwise boring moments in your day could serve very strategic and meaningful purposes.
Sometimes that’s all it takes. Get out of town for a few days to clear your mind, reboot or shift perspective. It does not need to be someplace exotic or an expensive vacation far away. Crashing on a local friend’s couch can do the trick. It’s important to shake your routine loose every once in a while. That kind of reorientation can do wonders for your ideas and bring fresh clarity to life’s problems. Mix it up, baby.
I start production next week on our next big series, “Wendy.” Things are very chaotic in prep right now and a lot of hair is being pulled, so there may be a noticeable theme to this week’s posts.
Last night, against all better judgement, I decided to join my friend Korey at the Dodgers/Reds baseball game. I really needed to stay late at the office and get some work done, and then really needed to come home to resolve some personal projects and take care of laundry. I really needed my night last night to get things done. But Korey tabled the offer twenty minutes before we needed to leave for the game, and it took me five seconds to run it through my head and accept. And you know what? The game was exactly what I actually needed. I told myself I shouldn’t go, that I should be doing other things with my night. But to hell with it. And for great reason. At the end of the night, it was clear to me that the game was in fact a “should” that far outweighed the other “shoulds” on my list.
We all get comfortable in cycles, doing the same thing over and over again. Same routine, same schedule, same faces, same activities. For workaholics, that cycle is productivity. For me, I can go weeks on end without putting my projects down. In the long run, it’s not healthy. You do not grow as a human being doing the same thing every day. And it’s not sustainable either. You will collapse and burn or completely fail. You cannot work yourself to the bone and live past fifty. You cannot sit on the couch all day every day and get anywhere in life. And if you get away with doing the same thing every day, god help you when your world unexpectedly changes. You may not be able to cope.
To keep things in perspective and kickstart your “lifestyle metabolism,” you need to break the routine every once in a while. Take a break. Relax. Check out. Do the things you “shouldn’t” do or wouldn’t normally do. Deviations from the routine freshen you up and help you step back far enough to appreciate or analyze your day-to-day. Even if your breaks are not as insightful, they can be restful – and that is always important.
Fresh mind. Fresh body. Fresh life.
Thank you again for the tickets, Korey!