August 4

Don’t Let Your Rituals Become Ruts

“A rut is just a grave with open ends.” I remember hearing this phrase growing up, but I never fully understood what it meant until I entered the workplace. The mandatory meetings, problems to solve that felt more like irrelevant nuisances, and difficulty focusing on the work a man- ager removed from my day-to-day deemed most critical. That’s when I learned that a ritual is a rail,nota magic formula.

Simply changing your circumstances or your productivity system might inject a measure of energy into your work and give you a boost for a short while, but that increase in output will be short-lived if you aren’t committed to an outcome. Your systems and rituals exist only to serve the outcome you’re trying to achieve. They are not an end but a set of guide rails to help you channel energy toward your goals. There is no magic bullet for creativity or productivity, only tendencies and rhythms. Ask yourself these questions:

►What outcome are you trying to achieve today?

►How can your routines/rituals be better channeled to help you

achieve it?

►Which routines/rituals are undeniably in the way of it?

Rituals are more than just repetitive behavior. They carve out space to be filled by more substantial activity. They are open ends that facilitate the closing of creative loops. However, don’t allow them to become mindless, distracting behavior, or they will drain the focus and energy out of your day.

Your rituals exist to serve you, not the other way around.


How can you adapt your rituals and rhythms to better serve your goals?

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