What It Takes to Make Every Work Day Count

You know how some days just feel good? Like you did everything you were supposed to and you can say that you not only hustled, but also just had a great time? It’s possible to enjoy that feeling every day. All that it takes is a bit of thinking about what really makes every day count.

It is so easy to get caught in a loop of simply going through the motions. While this may sound like a good thing—sort of like a routine—it’s ultimately going to do more harm than good for your personal productivity.

Routine is not about making yourself into a perfectly efficient automaton. The fact is that you’re never going to be operating at max effectiveness if you feel like you’re just clocking it in day in and day out. So much of what matters about your personal routine, what makes life feel good and keeps you psychologically checked in is built on variance.

When every day starts to feel the same, we stop being able to recognize their individual worth and we stop caring as much. Eventually, we stop feeling good about ourselves and we start to lose track of any kind of progress we are making toward our personal goals and the goals of the businesses we are a part of it.

Not only is that not a healthy way to live, but it’s going to start to take a toll on the level of work that you can put out. We like to feel like we are getting somewhere as people, and when we lose that feeling, we have a hard time maintaining our typical level of engagement.

The human mind needs to be cared for if it's going to be doing its best kind of work, just like anything else. And by and large, the best thing you can do for your mind is to find meaning in anything and everything. We are creatures of meaning and stories. We like to put everything we do together into threads that lead somewhere.

So all of that sounds great in theory, but how are we supposed to make it a reality in a work schedule that relies on consistency? The fact is that it doesn’t take very much to build variance into your life. Maybe it’s as simple as taking a different path home or taking a little more time to talk with someone else on your team. These little moments of difference go a long way. They carve out the plot points of the story that we are telling about our own lives.

The best thing we can do is to set goals for ourselves—big ones and small ones too. There is an innate satisfaction in the chance to check something off the list. Maybe it’s as simple as clearing out your email or keeping your desk clean. These simple acts not only keep us comfortable, but they help create that feeling that we are really getting somewhere.

It’s just as important to expose yourself to new things as it is to create a consistent space where you are content and comfortable. As with anything, the balance between those extremes is where the magic happens. Routine is as much about giving yourself the time and space to experience new things as it is making your responsibilities more comfortable and manageable.

Do that and always be working toward something big. There should never stop being something around the corner that you are pushing toward every single day. It can do wonders for your mindset simply knowing that you have a goal in mind and the means to achieve it a little bit more every single day.

Basically, never lose track of where you are going and never get stuck on a track that’s just going around in circles. Find those little nexuses of comfort and find those new experiences. If you can do that, every single day may start to feel like an event that you can’t wait to be a part of.

— ZK

Ed Lynes13p5Comment