Shake up your routine in the name of creativity

Photo of a light-skinned hand holding a picture of a light bulb against a backdrop of whiteboard skethes and flowcharts
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

1. Go to a different neighborhood in your town and act like a tourist.

I know, I know, you technically have to leave your house for this one, but I promise you won’t have to go far to experience the benefits. I recently went to Northeast Minneapolis — about a 10 minute drive from my neighborhood — and spent an afternoon wandering around just as I would in new city. I popped into a few shops, then grabbed coffee and a croissant from a sidewalk cafe to aid in some good old fashioned people watching. The neighborhood had really changed since the last time I visited, with restaurants, shops and residential living popping up everywhere. It felt new and interesting, and like I had traveled to a different city altogether.

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2. Go back in time with a nostalgic album.

This might sound trivial, but I recently had a conversation about it with a friend who reached the same conclusion independent from my hypothesis (so it must be true!). I had listened to The Doors and broke on through to the other side of some stuck thinking, and wanted to understand why this was so energizing. According to this Vice article, “Neuroimaging has shown that songs stimulate many different areas of the brain, and give us a big hit of dopamine while they’re at it.” When we listen to these albums cover to cover (as they used to say before CDs became redundant), we tap into a nice big dopamine hit that can overflow into other areas of our lives. So, which nostalgic album will you queue up after reading this?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

3. Disrupt your daily.

Tweak your breakfast routine, take a mid-morning break, or change up your computer parking spot. Often we don’t even think about these decisions, which is mostly helpful, unless you’re in a creative funk. Do you usually have granola for breakfast? Switch it up by making pancakes on a weekday. Or, rather than racing into your morning, sip your coffee slowly while enjoying the view from a window.



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Jackie Colburn

Jackie Colburn


Weekly resources for facilitators and leaders. Learn tips and methods to run better workshops, accelerate teams and uncover new ideas.