The Upside to Upending Your Routine

Distraction and change can be beneficial, even under difficult circumstances. Amid the global upheaval caused by the novel coronavirus, many of us are dealing with more distraction and change than usual. A small silver lining: the disruption might help develop your capacity for creative thinking and innovation.

Changing plans, working in different environments, and negotiating general disorder helps your mind reach for new associations and answers. A messy work area and forced interruptions can nudge thought patterns out of their ruts. Obstacles and challenges push you out of your comfort zone, which is when many people have their best ideas. And being forced to improvise and handle unexpected situations in new ways may help you develop better, more flexible solutions since you won’t be relying on familiar processes and routines.

The next time you feel distracted or overwhelmed, try to think of your difficult circumstances as a potential incubator for innovation. New routines, different ways of working, and unfamiliar forms of interaction with colleagues are all examples of disruptions that may require a period of adjustment, but can potentially enrich your skill set and your work.

For more on the surprising virtues of disorganization, we recommend our Instaread on Messy.

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