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In a Rut? Change Your Routine and Change Your Life

In a Rut? Change Your Routine and Change Your Life

It happens to the best of us. We put our heads down, push through each day, let ourselves settle into a certain kind of rut, and before we know it we’re restless and weary and can’t figure out how we got there. It’s important to keep in mind that being uncomfortable with the status quo is okay and is often a good thing.

If you’re feeling this way, making some key routine changes could offer the variety you didn’t even know you were looking for in your life.

Remove Negative Words From Your Vocabulary

    As cheesy as it may seem, make a conscious effort to remove negativity from your life. Start with your own vocabulary by not allowing yourself to say words and phrases such as “I wish I could…”, “can’t,” “won’t,” “never,” and “shouldn’t.” Instead, find ways to make yourself say what you’re looking to say with different words. For instance, instead of saying, “I wish I got paid more,” say, “I’m going to work hard to earn a raise.” And then work hard to earn a raise.

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    This type of positive thinking can train your subconscious to change the way you view things.

    Focus on One Goal Each Month

      It has been said for a long time that it takes 21 days to form a habit. That exact time frame has been debunked, but it’s still a good amount of time to devote to developing a new habit and become accustomed to embracing it as a part of your everyday life. There are no rules saying you can’t work on more than one goal at a time. The idea is to not commit to more than what is realistic for you.

      Feel free to change it up and add in more positive changes as you see fit. Just don’t overdo it – that would undermine the mental wellness and well-being that we’re trying to achieve.

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      Get up Earlier

        In addition to getting a slower, more peaceful start for the day, waking up early has notable health benefits. First, you’ll be more likely to eat a balanced breakfast, which jump starts your metabolism and promotes a healthy weight. It also helps you focus throughout the day. But more importantly, waking up early promotes a healthy mental well-being and a positive outlook.

        Give it a try for a month and see how you feel.

        Set Fitness Goals

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          Everyone knows that exercise is good for your health. Most of us have attempted to improve our exercise habits. Some are admittedly more successful than others. So take this opportunity to actually do it. Incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine and see what it does to your body, your attitude, and your general outlook on life.

          In no time you’ll be reducing your stress level, boosting your metabolism, and increasing brain function among a host of other positive health perks. It may be helpful to find a place to live that’s conducive to these new goals you’ve set for yourself. Look for something with areas to ride a bike or jog nearby, or an apartment complex that includes an onsite gym or a gym membership. You’re bound to find the right fit once you start looking for apartments for rent by metro areas.

          Change Responsibilities at Work

            Our careers are such an important aspect of our lives that if you’re in a rut, making some changes at work could really make a difference. Perhaps you’re bored because you’re not stimulated enough through your work. Look for new opportunities to change things up. Maybe a position in a different department is opening up, or you’re up for a promotion.

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            On the other hand, maybe it’s time to make some major changes. Keep your ear to the ground for any changes you can make to switch it up a bit and stay fresh.

            Drink More Water

              We don’t have to tell you that drinking water is good for you – it just is. It promotes cell growth and mental alertness, detoxifies your body, aides in digestion, and just plain tastes good. Make a pact to drink water to promote a healthy state of being and to help make the rest of your goals more achievable.

              The rut you’re feeling is real, and there are very simple things you can do to pull yourself out of it. Give some of these ideas a try, and let us know in the comments how it’s changed things for you.

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              The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

              The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

              It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

              Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

              “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

              In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

              New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

              There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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              So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

              What is the productivity paradox?

              There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

              In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

              He wrote in his conclusion:

              “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

              Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

              How do we measure productivity anyway?

              And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

              In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

              But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

              In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

              But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

              Possible causes of the productivity paradox

              Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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              • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
              • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
              • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
              • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

              There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

              According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

              Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

              The paradox and the recession

              The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

              “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

              This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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              According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

              Looking forward

              A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

              “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

              Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

              “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

              On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

              Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              Reference

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