I started on this journey on the 1st of Jan which means I’ve been going now for 65 days more or less.
No wonder I feel like the journey is monotonous as hell.
And it brought me to a wider challenge of life (especially during lockdown) that I think we all face – fairly regularly actually.
It’s the challenge of having the same old, boring routine, day upon day. It may make you feel like life is boring – especially if you’re stuck or feel trapped by the same old routine day in and day out.
In my instance – my ‘boring’ daily routine consists of waking up at around 430 (although sometimes this is as late as 830 depending upon what time I get to bed), and then getting on with the same thing each morning.
That’s waking up, and in no particular order, producing blog content (i.e this) as well as video content (I recorded around 60 minutes worth of content this morning).
As you can imagine – as much as routine is healthy for humans, the same routine day in and day out can get boring quite quickly.
During a period such as now when Covid-19 means that there is barely anything you can do in terms of variety and seeing other people – and it makes the situation a whole lot worse.
Right now, even as I write this – each word is a struggle, and the monotony of doing this day in and day out is wearing down upon me.
I’ve seen that over 90% of my blogs aren’t even getting any organic traffic whatsoever, and so that means 9 out of 10 of my blogs are not seen by anyone.
So the monotony and boredom with producing content day in and day out, that I’m sure most people will never read…is really getting to me.
Right now, from the table where I’m sat I can see the sofa to my right-hand side, and the idea of sidling into it to have 40 winks to pass the time – and to feel more refreshed…well it appeals massively.
And this is the insidious thing with your job, or your life boring you to ‘death’ and that monotony and its claws can lead you down a rotten path.
Especially when you’re your own boss, and can easily cover the ‘monotony of life’ with just plain avoiding work.
Anyway, if the routine is something that leads you to feel like life is becoming all too monotonous – than I’ll start by saying – I know how it feels.
And here (I hope) are some insights into dealing with monotony and boredom creeping into your mind space:
Accept that you will feel bored by your routine sometimes
It’s normal to feel this sometimes.
I mean if you do ‘one thing’ all the time – then of course over time that will become routine. And routine is healthy but can also get very boring.
Appreciating this is part of the normal cycle of life is important as you go through times like this.
Right now I’m stuck in a low-point and even putting together this blogpost is challenging.
But not fighting it – is how you keep on going for longer still.
Practically that means –
Not trying to ‘ignore’ that feeling
Not trying to ‘shut that feeling down’
But rather just understanding it’s a natural part of human feeling.
Know that the feeling of the monotony of life will also pass
This is also powerful.
It’s what’s on the other side of that feeling of the monotony of life that’s worth hanging in there for.
Even through the course of writing this blog post (particularly because of the boredom feeling) – I experience highs and lows.
So once you acknowledge that such feelings, whether in relation to work, to your personal life, a relationship or otherwise are present –
They will pass and you can find your love for your routine again.
Remember your routine only needs to be monotonous until the weekend
I think this is one that’s all too easily forgotten.
Every week of the year we all have a couple of days off (in most Western cultures anyway).
That’s your Saturday and Sunday – and if you DON’T have those days, then you instead have another day.
So even though you’re feeling a little ‘stuck’ in your routine – then know you’ve just got a couple more days (for me it’s 1-more day) before you’re due some time off.
So the ‘staying power’ needs to stick only a little more in most cases until you’re afforded a break.
Add variation into your routine
In my instance, I try and aim to wake up at 430am, and then by the time 1030am comes around – I’ve done my fair share of learning, and creating and all.
This is a combination of Audible, writing blog content, Quora, recording videos and more.
A good example of mixing up my otherwise boring routine is that I keep the framework tight but the details lose.
I.e today I haven’t listened to a thing on Audible – but I did have some training with Craig Campbell about running YouTube ads.
The time now is 11.49 am and I’ve still not finished off producing this piece of content – but I’m slowly grinding it out.
And earlier I recorded 4 videos taking my audience through my 23andme journey and a total of 66 minutes of content – which is double what I typically do.
So as you can see here – I’m still acting upon my ideals of creating video and written content – alongside learning something new.
I’ll probably go for a walk to further my learning as well later today.
Breaks from routine help break up the boredom
Another important consideration is that if the weekend still isn’t enough – you might just need more of an extended break.
I’ve experienced this when I was building my ‘writing’ muscle.
Getting into the habit of being able to write 1,000 words per day, every day at the start of my day has taken time to make happen.
I started on this journey in November 2019 – and then it was very significant to be writing anything at all.
Now it’s become almost like a reflex.
But THROUGH that journey I’ve taken time off, I’ve stopped and started – and it’s just now that I’ve begun to develop the best consistency I’ve had in my life.
And I don’t think – without those breaks – it necessarily would have happened.
Committing to some part of your routine is better than nothing at all
This probably is the most accurate way to describe how my fight with boredom and monotonous routines have played out.
What ends up happening is that I aim to try and do the UVXYZ thing, and end up doing some of U, all of VX and a little of Y and none of Z.
That probably sums up how I end up executing.
It sounds like a shambles I know – but it used to be a lot worse.
And before it only used to be UVX.
The rest is new!
So think about what constitutes the minimum when it comes to your routine – and try and get that done at the least.
Routines (even when boring) are there for a reason
There’s an assumption that I’m making with all of this – that your routine serves a higher purpose for you.
Because if it doesn’t – well then – you have different problems to resolve.
Learning is something I want to stick with as part of my life’s journey.
Producing content (like this) I try and do for my mental health
Videos – is to grow my brand.
So ask yourself – why do you do what you do?
Do something completely different when you’re bored
Every now and again a pattern interrupt is perfect for mixing things up.
I.e doing something different to break up the monotony of your routines.
Maybe this is watching your favourite TV show in the middle of the day.
Maybe this is eating your dinner for breakfast.
Maybe this is just blocking your calendar for a day and lounging about doing nothing.
There are lots of things you can look at to ‘mix it up’
So try that today as well and see what it can do to help reinvigorate you to love your routine again.
Remember you’re not alone in your boredom
If it helps you – know that there are other people out there (like me lol) – who also at times struggle with routine.
It’s a challenge for all of us – and knowing that there are people everywhere – all around the world having similar challenges I find to be helpful at the time.
Final Thoughts On Being Stuck In A Routine
I’m pleased because I managed to get through boredom and get this blog done.
And I ultimately want to underline that boredom, monotony and feeling like you can’t be bothered to keep up with your routine are very normal parts of your journey.
I hope (at least) – this gives you some insights into how you can battle these live-in demons in your routine!
And just keep moving forward 🙂