An unpredictable tip, written by Will Collette
Just another average day at work.
With so many professions out there, it’s easy to become jaded to even the most
incredible careers. I bet even the Chainsmokers have days where they aren’t
100% on the stage. And I’m not going to lie, with a job like filming EDC, even I was bored sitting four feet away
from the headliner. Why? Because I had been doing it for 72 hours, and was over
the routine of one DJ after the next.
So how do we break up routine? We balance it.
Routine isn’t necessarily all that bad. Did you know that your brain is only
capable of making so many choices in a day before it gets overwhelmed? Maybe
this is why girlfriends never know what they want to eat for dinner.
“The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes
for your brain, and eventually, it looks for shortcuts,” John Tierney of the New
York Times writes.
This is why it’s easier to pick up that candy bar at Whole Foods. It’s at the
checkout aisle, and it’s hard to resist because we’ve already exhausted all of our
decision-making energy while shopping (and money if you’re a high roller and
can shop at Whole Foods).
With this in mind, routine tasks are essential to preserving our brain’s energy for
more important tasks such as sorting through that Outlook inbox you’ve been
The balancing force to routine is unpredictability. So where does this come into
This is because there are plenty of surprises for even the simplest of tasks at
your workplace. We need to embrace these opportunities of not knowing the
Why? Because that’s what keeps you from ripping your uniform off and running
into the street like a crazy person…balance.
So if you’re falling into too much of a routine, find a way to make things
unpredictable. Find a different way of accomplishing a mundane task, seek team-
building opportunities to build creativity, or just hold some Play Dough while you
work at your desk.
Trust me, the shock of something as simple as Play Dough travels a long way in
a rigid, serious working environment. And it might be all you need to keep that
balance in check for your own mental sanity.
Maybe things are all over the place, there’s not enough routine, and you’re
struggling to get a grip on your time management and planning.
It might help to set up a morning routine, decide to eat the same breakfast every
day that week, workout at the same time or shop with a predetermined list and
actually stick to it. These routine tasks will free up your brain for the
Unpredictability in your life.
“I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m
eating or wearing because I have too many other decisions to make.” – Barack
Obama, on why he only wears grey or blue suits.
Obama isn’t the only leader who does this. According to Leslie Ye of
HubSpot.com, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the late Apple
cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs wore the same outfits every day as well. Here’s
hoping they did laundry.
Bottom line, remember that life is a balance. You can always add more weight to
one side of the balance if you feel your life is either too routine or too hectic.
Now excuse me, while I eat the same exact breakfast I get every day, but do it
with the wrong hand, while wearing a onesie, and listening to exotic Taipei Li-
yuan opera from Taiwan.
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