Climbing out of the RUT that you may not know you’re in
People who do the same thing all the time tend to lose their edge day-by-day.
You don’t see it all at once, but it becomes a dominant factor in their creativity when the day-by-day becomes month-by-month, and ultimately year-by-year.
A rut is something so easy to get into that most people (not you, of course) don’t realize when the rut has taken over, or better stated when the rut has deepened. You start in a groove, but it deepens into a rut when there is no personal growth.
If you find yourself lacking the energy and the enthusiasm that you once had for your job, if you find yourself less creative day-by-day than you once were, and if you find yourself blaming circumstances or people for that process, then it’s time for a change.
It’s time to figure out on your own (with my help) how to jump out of the rut, and back into the groove:
1. Read a book. I’ve just given away autographed copies of Thinkertoys, by Michael Michalko, to two of my employees who were looking to become more creative. I believe that whatever your job is there is a book written with insightful information that can help you come to a greater understanding of where you were, where you are, and how to get to where you want to be. BUT you can’t just read the book; you must also highlight the book and write down your thoughts about how the principles in the book apply to you and your situation in the margins. Read it, underline it, remark in it, apply it, make it a habit, become more proficient at it, and ultimately master it. Reading will inspire you with new ideas, new approaches, and new challenges.
2. Take a course. Your community college or your state run school has adult learning classes that you can take to improve your skill set and your attitude. They will provide you with new knowledge and inspire you to be a better person. The course may be a one-day seminar or a 13-week semester. Whatever it is, you must enter with an open mind and have positive expectations. And whatever you do, don’t be thinking that you’re better than the teacher. Rather, be thinking, “What can I learn from this teacher and how can I benefit from this course?”
3. Exchange late for early. Many people believe that they are most productive in the evening, and most of those same people are not correct. Morning is when the clearest ideas pop into your head. Set your alarm clock one hour earlier, and dedicate that hour to your personal thinking, reading, and creating new ideas. Whatever you do in that hour, have a pen and paper or laptop near by – take paper with you when you walk, and keep it close by the shower. Turn on your computer and begin to write your thoughts down 15 minutes before your hour is up. Look at the insight that you’ve gained, look at the ideas you’ve come up with, and dedicate yourself to the actions you’re going to take throughout the rest of the day. ON SLEEPING: I keep a pad of paper and a pen next to my bed, and before I go to sleep at night, I write down the things on my mind. Sometimes I use my laptop. The end result is peaceful sleep. And I wake up with fresh ideas every morning.
4. You only have 24 hours – something must be eliminated in order to add something new. You’re in luck because you are already wasting two or three hours a day watching some TV program, or involving yourself in other people’s drama. Reading or watching the local news about who got beat up in a parking lot, and what got burnt down. NOTE WELL: The business news is NOT to be ignored. Rather, it is to be studied diligently because it involves your career and your success.
4.5 It’s a habit. Some habits are light – the way you take a shower, the way you brush your teeth, the way you drive to work. Some habits are addictions – your morning pick-me-up drink, a cigarette, your evening chill-me-out drink — or worse. Contrary to popular belief, habits do not take 30 days to make or break. Habits are a lifetime evolution of thoughts, actions, self-disciplines, and end results. In order to get out of your rut, you have to be able to change old habits and form new ones. Getting up early will be the easiest one to form, but it may mean that your other habits of evening drink to “relax” have to be eliminated in order for you to wake up clear and ready.
What I’ve given you here is not a formula, it’s a strategy and a philosophical overview of what makes a rut and what breaks a rut. You did not get into your rut in a day; you will not get out of your rut in a day. You will get out of it the same way you got into it. Day by day.
The opportunity is there for you. Your job is to take advantage of it. You can lament your fate. Or you can do something about it. Your biggest job is to start with the right choice.
If you need more information on how to create better habits, go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time user, and enter HABIT in the GitBit box.