Hustler’s Mantra: To be extraordinary disrupt your routine
"Influential people are never satisfied with the status quo. They're the ones who constantly ask, 'What if?' and 'Why not?' They're not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom and they don't disrupt things for the sake of being disruptive; they do it to make things better."– Travis Bradberry
Living a busy life often means that we are victims of our own routines. We get up, eat breakfast, do the same work every day for 8 to 10 hours with a break for lunch, have dinner, do some recreational activities and then go to bed. As we do this every day, we become more deeply rooted in our routine. We switch to auto pilot mode without thinking of ways to improvise the things that we do. But we all love this routine, don't we? Knowing what we are going to do makes things easy for us. It gives us a sense of structure and confidence.
We believe that these routines are integral in our lives and we get anxious when we have to deal with new things like working with new people or working in a new environment or working on new processes etc. But though we might not be comfortable, breaking free from our routine sometimes gives us the opportunity to think differently and see things from a new perspective. Henry Ford said: "If you always do, what you've always done, you will always get, what you’ve always got." To get something extraordinary we have to disrupt the way of normally doing things.
I was deeply influenced by an example that Frank Barrett, author of "Yes to Mess" shared in a Harvard Business Review interview. He talks about Miles Davis's album, "Kind of Blue" that was released in 1959 and is considered to be one of the greatest jazz albums of all time. While most jazz players of Mile's era were playing a fast tempoed bebop music, he wanted to take a new approach to jazz, he created new structures and patterns that no one has ever played before - getting both himself and his band to break out of the bebop routine. The result is one of the highest grossing jazz albums in history. "Everything on this recording is a first take," Frank Barrett says of Mile's album in the interview. "Those musicians are exploring this for the first time. They could not rely on old routines and habits. They had to be sort of receptive and use all the skills at their disposal to respond on the spot. And, in a way, they were noticing and creating and discovering all simultaneously."
Frank also shares another example of an airline that was facing a great deal of difficulty with its customer service and they had to have a meeting with the senior executives of the management team to decide on what can be done to improve the customer service. While the meeting was going on, the VP of marketing went to their hotel rooms, took out all the beds and put in airline seats instead. So that night the team had to sleep on their airline seats and that experience helped them come up with innovative solutions that redesigned the comfort of sitting in an airplane. That's also somewhat similar to what Miles Davis did, disrupted routines, made people uncomfortable but demanded them to think in creative ways, gain new perspectives and come up with an innovation.
It's time we rethink our work routines and stop following them mindlessly. Sure, some routines are great; it keeps us on track and helps us be more successful. But dropping our routine sometimes, letting our mind to naturally unwind itself could inspire creativity thinking and embracing the unfamiliar by trying new things might lead us to our best work yet.