Routine Vs Ritual.

You have heard it said many times, "If you don't like your job, go and find another one!" I say rubbish to that. If you don't like your job, change the way that you do it. On occasion we get into a rut at work, three letters that come from the word RoUTine. Routine can lead to boredom which can lead to complacency which can lead to accidents.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are dong your job and thinking about other things then something happens to snap you out of your thoughts and you wondered where your mind had been for the last 10 minutes? That's because you have got into a routine, you have become unconsciously competent.

Staying focussed can be difficult, there's a lot of distractions these days. So how do we remain focussed, how do we control our thoughts, how do we change what we are doing if we are required to do a job a certain way and can't change it? You get into rituals rather than routines.

The difference is mindset. A routine is where we are disconnected from what we are doing - wake up, brush our teeth, have breakfast, catch the bus, start work, coffee at 10, lunch at 12, etc. A ritual is doing the same thing but knowing the reason behind why you are doing these things. Mindfulness is another term if you want to use that.

I like to use the example of commercial pilots; before every flight they walk around the plane checking all of the bits are still where they should be, pushing the same buttons to make sure they still work, checking the water, fuel, and oil. They do the same mundane checks before every flight, often many times each day. How do they maintain an alertness, they 'think' about the reason as to why they are doing it.

Snipers, a unique group of people who can wait for days at a time staring at nothing, stay motivated using rituals. Sports players use rituals, those who work in dangerous fields use rituals, even those who work in mundane roles use rituals to stay in the moment.

So how do you change a routine into a ritual. There are a number of ways to do this - use a checklist to ensure that you don't forget anything, have someone check your work as you do it, use self-talk as you do your tasks by telling yourself why you are doing it, change the way you do your tasks to break patterns, or maybe think of yourself as a pilot going through those important checks.

Your mind is a wonderful thing, it is the accumulation of all the parts of your brain(s) that form your mind and then your mind controls your brain. In fact, your mind is more powerful than your brain, it can tell your brain how to react.

Whether you think you can, or whether think you can't, you're right - Henry Ford.

Don't change your job, use your mind instead. It's a lot less stressful and can turn your mundane job into an exciting one just like that of a pilot. And it will stop you from becoming complacent and reduce the risk of accidents.

Let's talk!