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What’s the difference between a routine and a rut?

Earlier this week, I shared about the rhythm of routines. You can read that post here.

If you’ve been reading 3QL posts for very long, you have probably picked up on a theme that’s running beneath the surface (and sometimes not even beneath). I’ve written previously about Routines vs Ruts, the Redundancy of Leadership, Redundancy (Again), and the Repetition Key, just to name a few.

Great leadership is not making a single decision in a single moment and moving on. Great leadership occurs with repetition over time. Great leaders put in the time to practice and develop and stretch their leadership muscles so those around them can practice and develop and stretch their leadership muscles.

That’s why I’m fascinated by routines. As I establish routines around me, it allows me to grow. But we know this in other parts of our life, right?

Exercise routines help us not lay in bed choosing what workout we are going to do.

Diet routines help us make healthy choices.

Driving routines help us make faster time.

Bed time routines help our children fall asleep faster. Hopefully.

So why not establish a few key leadership routines?

But the danger of a routine is it becomes a rut before we realize it. We lose the excitement. We lose the thrill. We start going through the motions. The routine becomes simply an item on our checklist that doesn’t receive the proper mental energy.

Routines open the doors for growth and progress. Ruts suck the life out of us, keeping us trapped in a predetermined path.

Why do you think people talk about “breaking ruts”, that’s because it takes intentional effort.

That intentional effort begins with naming the rut. Acknowledging it’s there and it’s not helping. Then, change the routine to break out of your rut.

What routines in your life have become ruts? What change do you need to make to break out of those ruts? A new routine? An alteration to the current routine?

Are you willing to make the change? Now go!


1 Comment

Can Dissatisfaction Be a Good Thing? | Three Question Leadership · August 20, 2020 at 8:20 AM

[…] words resonated with me. I want to always be getting better. Last week I talked about Routines and Ruts. I think dissatisfaction provides the traction to get out of ruts in our lives. As we feel […]

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