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Sunday Short #8 – Break from routine

Welcome all, to the eight Sunday Short, this week back on an actual Sunday. As a result of all your kind words on my blogging slump, I have been getting my writing mojo back. Hence today I want to talk about taking a break from routine, one thing that helped me get back to writing.

Things I’ve been thinking about this week – Break from routine

Ms ZiYou awesome tilesUs humans are creatures of habit – hence we like doing the same things in the same order at the same time. Our brains are even evolved to do many things unconsciously. From simple tasks to brushing our teeth before bed to driving a car, our brains help us complete these tasks on autopilot. It makes things easy for us, and less brain energy is needed. Hence the process feels easy and painless, with minimal effort expended. Therefore routine can be beneficial, and prevent us expanding unnecessary energy. And personally, I love a routine, as I love efficiency and getting the most from my effort. So I have many routines I complete.

But what happens when we break with routine? When we can no longer do things on autopilot, we engage a different part of our brain. We become more conscious of our actions. By taking a break from routine we allow our brains to fully engage, and truly evaluate our actions. Are we doing tasks because we have always done them? Does this task really add value? Over the last week, I was decisive – and took a break from routine. I’ve dropped a few tasks I normally did daily, and then evaluated my results. And you know what? Some of the items were really value adding, and I want to keep doing them. Conversely, some were negligible in the value received. By taking the break, I was able to give myself the opportunity to truly consciously make the decision.

So, I am a great proponent of taking a break from routine. Making myself take a break from routine really helped me evaluate my priorities and how I am spending my time. What about you?

Week Review

The Sunday Short also features a review of the past week and some thoughts on the coming week.

Past week

Ms ZiYou Lisbon pic

  • Hell yeah, it’s been a good week. I’m writing this post from sunny Lisbon. In addition to the awesome climate, everything is quaint and adorable here.
  • As an example, the whole city centre – which is sizeable – is character filled building after character filled building. Neigh a modern building in sight. Contrasting this to the City of London – my usual haunt – it’s startling. Are our planners ruining London by having skyscrapers amongst the medieval churches?
  • And additionally, I’ve been walking everywhere – over 41k steps today. And if you know Lisbon, you’ll understand that a lot of those steps are uphill or downhill – it’s a seriously steep city. You would get killer quads if you lived here.Ms ZiYou amazing Lisbon pics
  • Thanks to everyone for all the kind words last week when I hit the 3 month blogging slump. They were very helpful and such a wide range of suggestions, which is what I love! Thanks all for taking the time to help.
  • My Learning from a low wage job post was featured on Rockstar Finance. This led to a ridiculous amount of visitors, and a massive spike in page views. And the timing is interesting, coming a week after I mentioned Rockstar was not too diverse.
  • And nothing very interesting has happened on the gardening side….well apart from general neglect and rhubarb. I’ve got absolutely tons of rhubarb, and am fast running out of my limited rhubarb recipe repertoire.

And the coming week 

  • Now I have a few more days to enjoy in Lisbon, including one day working remotely from Lisbon. I’m loving being able to work from anywhere, it now needs to be one of my job criteria going forwards.

Over to you?

  • Has it been a good week?
  • Any plans for next week?
  • Is anyone else travelling?

10 comments on “Sunday Short #8 – Break from routine

  1. ::LIKE:: big fan of the life update post. hmmm will have to check into your featured post… wow.. i love the idea that your next door neighbors are other countries… i can fly 6 hours non-stop and still be in the US. How was Lisbon?

    1. Lisbon is lovely, a fun place to visit but not somewhere I’m in love with if that makes sense?

      And yes, it seems normal to pop over to Europe as it is really so close – we are lucky we can easily (and cheaply) get to many countries. But we don’t have the sort of geographical diversity or scale the US has – if we want sun or snow we need to travel.

  2. Wow 41k steps a day! I usually get quite smug about doing 22k when I’m off on a city break. Btw, I’m so happy I found your blog through Rockstar Finance – I love that you’re injecting more feminism into the PF domain, and you’re a fellow Brit!

    1. Hi Mindy – lovely to see you here Mindy and thanks for commenting.

      And hell yeah, the personal finance community needs a bit more feminism in my opinion – we can’t let the guys have all the fun.

  3. loved lisbon. In general I love any cities with street cars 🙂 what routines did you break and reassess? would love to know more, perhaps a future post?
    congrats on the feature!

    1. Hi Coco – yeah the streetcars are awesome in Lisbon – so quaint and cute, yet they manage some mega hills.

      That’s a great post idea, shall call into the details of things I broke!

    1. Yeah, I tend to walk everywhere on holiday, to see and really appreciate the place. Chutney sounds interesting, I’d love the recipe when you have a minute.

        1. Thanks Angela, I’m not going to do some chutney with the next batch – I think I’ve got some jars knocking around somewhere. I will be adding raisin and onions, as you can’t have chutney without them can you?

What do you think?