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Change Your Routine, Recharge!

Frank Oudshoorn

Currently, I am learning to be a teacher. As it turns out, children quite similar to adults. It’s just like they are people too. Because of that, much of what I learn there is just as applicable to grown-ups as it is to kids.

They are taking education quite by storm, “Energizers”. When you have a class of kids taking a test after sitting quietly for more than an hour, with the prospect of having to finish the test or wait at least until break time, it can get quite hard to concentrate for some kids. The way to fix it is as simple as it is elegant. Stop the kids from taking the test for a minute and play a small game with them. Me personally, I like to do “Animals” in which the kids need to imitate the animal I tell them to. After releasing their energy they’ve regained the concentration needed to take the test. The difference in the class atmosphere is noticeable almost instantly.

What does this have to do with “Charging your Battery”? Well, quite interestingly, it seems that just breaking the “routine” for a moment helps immensely with the continuing that routine afterward. You may think that the reasons this works is because the children have released their energy. But the fascinating thing is, this does not only work with a quick energizer. If instead, I tell the class to close their eyes and focus on what they hear, or what they feel at that moment, afterward they have the same sense of concentration. A meditation works almost as well as an energizer. Not always of course, sometimes there simply is too much energy in the class. But often enough, that I’ve happened to notice it.

Clearly, the routine just needs to be broken by something completely different. Once you start to realize that fact, you’ll also realize that you probably do that several times a day. A quick coffee break during work will get you enough energy to work those last hours before break time. A friendly neighbor chat with an officemate will give you enough focus to finish that one annoying task.

Some people have a tendency to see these acts as “a waste of time”. However, apparently without that time wasted, we tend to do even less work! Clearly, it’s a “save of time”!

We’ve established now that changing of routine works wonders both in your work life and in school. Why is it then, that we so often fail to do this in our personal life? Now watch carefully, because I do not mean routines as in doing everything at the same time every day. This can actually be quite helpful because your brain will be ready for the task and you’ll be able to do it quicker and easier. The “routine” I mean is that of keeping to do the same thing for too long periods of time, without a single change. Keeping the same job for too long, without ever learning something new. You don’t have to quit your job for that, there are plenty of opportunities to learn new things!

Switch it up for once! Leave a bit earlier and take a different road from work to home! Perhaps you see something new, something exciting. Get a group of friends together and do something none of you have done before! Change up the routine!

Perhaps right now you are thinking: “Frank, that’s easy for you to say! I’m too old/tired/don’t have the energy/too young/don’t have the time/don’t know what to do/whatever excuse you can think of, so what you are saying here is nice and all, but clearly not for me.” It is! It is exactly for you!

Remember the beginning? Changing up the routine recharges that battery! It helps kids get through the morning, it helps the working class through the day. And it can help you! through life! Some things get so much easier when you have extra energy. And you do not gain energy from resting. You gain energy from doing stuff you enjoy. So, why don’t you go out and enjoy yourself?

Change that routine!

Original author: Frank Oudshoorn
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