It’s easy to get into a comfy routine and go about your business day after day, thinking everything is okay, just fine the way it is. And then comes a wake-up call that jars you out of your routine and has you rethinking everything.

Routines can be friend or foe.

The good ones help us take a healthy approach to consistent behavior, such as working out, dedicating time to consistent prospecting, or regularly communicating and coaching with your team.

The bad ones can set us up for a failure we never anticipated, such as empty pipelines, unhealthy lifestyles, unhappy team members, and high turnover.

During the pandemic, I spent too much time sitting at my desk and not enough time getting up and moving. I come from a line of workaholics, and while I’ve managed to keep it more-or-less in check most of my career, the pandemic was not good for me and my workaholism. It landed me in months of physical therapy just to regain daily functioning.

And then there are just mindless routines that have no purpose.

Do you know those plastic containers in refrigerators that hold eggs? That’s where we kept eggs as a child. As an adult, I expected the plastic box to be in any refrigerator. When I bought a new fridge, and it didn’t come with an egg box, I bought one. Because where else are you going to keep your eggs?

My astute young son asked one day, as he was moving the eggs from the paper carton to the plastic box, why he was doing it. I’m sure with some level of attitude, I replied, “Because that’s how you keep eggs in the refrigerator.” He asked, “Why don’t we just keep them in the paper carton?” After about two seconds of reflection, I was crying laughing. What a stupid routine I had carried with me for decades! It took a ten-year-old to point out the ridiculousness of the activity.

I’m not the only one

Now that I’ve bared my embarrassments to you about some of my mindless routines that have been detrimental and useless, think about your routines.

What are you doing in your daily activities that range from a waste of time to harming your progress? Perhaps some of these sound vaguely recognizable:

  • Scrolling through bottomless social media feeds
  • Consuming crap “news” instead of information that could help you be a better advisor or a more interesting person
  • Spending time on anything that prevents you from prospecting
  • Doing work that could and should be assigned to someone else
  • Repeatedly saying you don’t have time to create content for marketing

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The first step to rethinking your routines is to consider the possibility that you could be seeing things incorrectly or that there may be a better way to approach something.

For me, one bad routine (sitting at my desk) led to a good routine (establishing a new approach to a healthy lifestyle). But it was only because I was open to reassessing and listening to advice.

After regaining mobility, my physical therapist called me out on my bad behavior, “Use it or lose it, Wendy. From now on. Always.” By accepting the possibility that I should do things differently, I have a whole new world of activity that I enjoy and get excited about. I am better off for it, and it carries over to my family and team benefitting from it.

A mindless activity (moving eggs from one container to another) led to looking around at what other inane things I was perpetuating and wasting time on (there may have been a few others 🙄).

Warning: There may be changes ahead

“Rethink everything” was our company theme from a couple of years ago, and boy, did we! We rethought everything that was happening at Q4i, how it was happening, and why it was happening.

Change can be daunting or exciting. Either way, you know how it goes – one change leads to another. You decide you want to freshen up a room in your house with a new paint color, and the next thing you know, you’re five months into a remodel. In our case, we launched a new subscription service and published a book.

Breaking up with your routines may not be as dramatic as building out a new business model, but it might. You won’t know until you give yourself permission to rethink your routines and question whether they’re leading you to growth, destruction, or simply being stagnant.


Content provided by Q4intelligence

Photo by tsyhun