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Changing the rhythm

By September 5, 2023No Comments

Rocking the beat with my watermelon uke

Changing the rhythm

They say the universe tends to entropy, and everything will, in the end, fall apart and go dark.

That’s certainly true in the big scheme of things, whether you’re measuring it by your own lifespan or by our universe’s. (This schematic of where we are in the universe’s arc blew my mind.)

But before the chaos, it seems that things fall into a routine. Our brain is all in favor of making us habitual. A study from Yale found that close to 50% of what we do in a waking day is done on automatic. 50%! That’s a lot of comfortable rut.

It’s because routine is efficient and safe, two things the brain loves.

And there’s also the risk of a life accidentally and carelessly pre-programmed.

Here’s a working plan to keep things fresh.

Design your routine. Try and make it less complicated rather than more complicated. Sometimes, it’s adding something to do. Sometimes, it’s removing things that don’t actually need to be done.

Have some idea of what success might be. How will you know if it’s working for you?

Give the routine a good shot. It takes time for anything to become a habit (estimates vary).

If you’re like me, figure out how you’ll hack your good intentions. Then, figure out a way to manage your upcoming hack. (I find having other people involved helps a lot.)

Now things are ticking along, you want to make sure you don’t slip into a comfortable rut.

At some point, re-examine what’s going on. Is that routine still serving you? Check back on your success criteria.

Decide to stop something, add something, or double down on what’s working. Make some tweaks as required.

Speaking of which …

We’re tinkering with this newsletter, and we’re going to try out once every two weeks. Often enough for you to remember us, but reducing the overflow of your inbox.

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.