Are you feeling bored at work? Stuck doing the same tasks over and over without feeling like you’re making progress? Mindlessly following the same dull routines? It’s time to try something new.
I’m not saying you need to start looking for a new job – there’s a lot of factors that go into that decision – but you absolutely need to get out of the rut you’re in. And here’s the great news if you’re not enjoying your job: the something new should be something completely unrelated to your day job.
In fact, the more unrelated it is to something you already know, the better!
That’s because our brains are infinitely complex. Science has only started to scratch the surface on understanding that complexity, but here’s the rationale: the new thing you try wakes your brain up by creating new neural pathways. So learning something new literally creates new connections in your brain, activating it in a way it hasn’t been before. Regardless of age, humans have the capacity to grow more pathways. How fantastic is that? New and improved go hand in hand!
In my own life, I work to keep learning a priority. This year, I made a commitment to try one new thing a month. It doesn’t take a ton of time, but it does take a little planning to make sure that a month doesn’t go by without scheduling something! I know that everyone is already overscheduled and overworked, which is why it’s especially important to have something on the calendar you actually WANT to do vs. all those have-to-do items.
Try to pick something that sounds interesting to you, or is on your bucket list of things to try “someday”. I don’t typically have a plan before the month starts on what type of activity I’m going to try. It depends on what’s being offered, what my schedule looks like, and how much time I can carve out. Sometimes, it’s an excursion to a museum sans my interrupting cows… aka alone. Sometimes it’s a free or low cost class.
This month I tried a painting class at a library where the supplies were provided so all I had to do was show up. One month I watched a documentary and participated in a group discussion afterwards. Another month I went on a naturalist-led hike. There are endless possibilities to choose from, but know that you can’t choose incorrectly. Anything new will work. You don’t have to fall in love with a new hobby in order to reap the benefits from creating new neural pathways in your brain.
Here’s what I love about trying something new. When my brain wakes up, all of me wakes up. I end up living life more fully and authentically because I’m not on autopilot. It also helps jumpstart my creativity. Taking a break to try the unrelated new things often leads to breakthrough ideas of how to solve some of my tough work problems. Most importantly, trying something new is fun (once you get past the fear getting outside your comfort zone). I’ve met cool people, learned fascinating things, and said yes to a wide variety of activities as a result. And if we’re being honest, most of us need a little more fun in our lives!
If you’re looking for a way to make your current job more interesting and exciting, trying something new is a great way to get unstuck. Pick one thing and get started!