The Power of Disrupting Your Routine

November 2, 2012

I realized in a new way today the power of disrupting our routine. You see, we wanted to remember to soak oatmeal this evening before going to bed. So, Claudia wrote a reminder for us to remember.

Our reminder to soak the oatmeal

Just writing a reminder can really make a difference with remembering something. However, sometimes we still forget even if we’ve written a reminder.

Normally, after we write a reminder note, we’ll stick this sort of thing on the refrigerator, on our idea board, or in our planner.

However, the thing is, we get so used to seeing reminders in these areas that we often don’t notice them. So, this time, we stuck it right on the switch to our kitchen light.

I’ve got to tell you, I’ve thought about soaking oatmeal today so many times you’d think my life depended on it!

The light switch to our kitchen is right next to the doorway so every time I go in or out of the kitchen (maybe 30 times a day!), I remember we need to soak oatmeal tonight.

This really got me thinking and asking, “How could I apply this technique of disrupting my routine in other areas of my life?”

Question: Have you ever disrupted your routine and came up with new creative ideas and solutions? How?


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  • Reply John Cole November 2, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I have an hour for lunch at my JOB.  Usually I spend it in front of the computer eating lunch.  Sometimes though I will get out of that routine and make a trip to a local farm supply store to “idea hunt”.  I look over the shelves there to try to get ideas or maybe find a company to contact about possible engineering contract work.  Well, I contacted a company in the summer to see if they could use any engineering contract work done and it has led to me being able to (as of this week) start the process of taking over the day to day operations of that business.  

    • Reply Michael Good November 2, 2012 at 10:23 am

      John, that’s great! Way to do something different. Seems like idea hunting at a farm supply store would compliment some of your other projects like http://scarecrow-bird-control.com/ . Congrats on the new contact work!

  • Reply Rob Clinton November 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Hey, there’s  a creative way to keep from stapling a reminder to my forehead 🙂 That’s awesome! 
    It’s making me think of new ideas that I can do to interrupt my routines with. I’d say anything we normally reach for like the dog leash, car steering wheel, the hygiene basket, the mirror! All of these can make a great place to stick reminders or “interrupters”

  • Reply Michael Wright November 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    One thing I’ve had success with is the create a handwritten calendar on a posterboard with checkoff points each day – this works especially well with my physical fitness goals.  I’ve learned if I don’t track, I slack.  I’ve been on the downward slope of late, so I just created a 3 week “checkoff” list (Water, Walk, Weights, Sleep, Eat), with the particulars on each day.  I have it in my office, so if I get too late in the day and I haven’t gone for my 30 min walk, I know I’d better step it up!  I also had scripture cards I’ve wanted to memorize sitting on the odometer of my car, so I continually see it.

    • Reply Michael Good November 26, 2012 at 6:53 am

      Very cool, Michael! It seems like it’s best to keep changing these things up so we notice them. Neat ideas! 

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