14 September 2014

Why is it that, as you get busier and busier in life, the winning combination of routines and behaviours that once helped you get to the top of your game, becomes ineffective?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and I have a theory.

It doesn’t.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, “Alright then Loz, why are you writing a blog about it?” The answer comes down to perception. To put it another way, has your winning formula actually stopped working or have you simply changed it? When the pressure mounts up and you become distracted, you can wind up losing sight of the most important elements of your routine and upsetting the balance that keeps you moving forward, no matter how tough the challenge.

Taking some time out in the mountains

Taking some time out in the mountains

When this happens at UKFast, we call it the Dr Who effect. I’m willing to bet it happens in workplaces all around the world, because people change things that had been working perfectly well without even really realising it. In my experience, this tends to happen when you stop acknowledging the simple things that work well and start taking them for granted until eventually you just stop doing them.

It’s easier said than done, however, and I’ve fallen foul of it myself as, until recently, I had my eyes so firmly fixed on other things – the project at UKFast Campus, the renovation at Le Farinet, my family, this blog – that I hadn’t seen my winning formula changing. Instead, I just wondered why the challenges we were taking on seemed to be more difficult than they should have been.

I’m a big believer in the teachings of Tony Robbins and he actually says that one of the most important things you can do is to take some time, an hour a day, for yourself – for exercise and relaxation. On reflection, I think I had just fallen out of that habit and whilst that might not sound like a big deal, it certainly had a noticeable effect.

Once you’ve built up a rhythm, you work most effectively when you’re in time with it and are able to take things in your stride. But imagine a drummer losing the rhythm of a song half way through – what would happen to the rest of the band? Most likely, they would get thrown off course. In my experience, a steady rhythm is the conduit that holds everything together.

When you turn up the dial in life, if you haven’t got that balance, that routine, then things can get unnecessarily difficult. For me, taking an hour or two to go to the gym or for a game of squash – or even just outside for a run – is a really important part of my routine. When I let it fall by the wayside, that’s when I feel unbalanced – never a good situation to be in when you’re trying to take on multiple challenges and improve yourself on a number of levels.

People often associate routine with boredom, but I don’t think this is the case. If you keep all the elements of your formula in sight then you can expand on them, just as long as you don’t neglect them. It’s about going out of your comfort zone – not too far, but enough to challenge yourself. Then once you’re comfortable with being in that place, you simply take another step and push it again.

To quote Tony Robbins: “If we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”

See you in the gym!

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