29: Taking a step back.
- June 4, 2017 -
We all have our own routines, both personal and professional, but most of our routines aren’t ends in themselves. Rather, they are a means to an end, the small steps leading up to (what we hope will be) something bigger.
As a writer, I’ve come to greatly appreciate having a daily routine: a consistent plan that works best for my schedule, allowing me to get through the day with minimal distraction. The challenge with these types of routines, however, is that, as helpful as they can be for getting certain tasks done, they can also make it easy to become fixated on the wrong things.
In other words, if we adhere too closely to them for too long, our routines can cause us to lose sight of the bigger picture, to get caught up in the immediacy of the day-to-day. Lately, then, I’ve been taking a step back to consider the broader, more far-reaching implications of my everyday actions, the ends which I don’t always make time to think about as I’m working my way through the means.
I’ve been reflecting upon the reasons behind my routines, asking questions like, Where is it that all of these small steps are taking me?, Is that somewhere I’d (still) like to go?, and How do I appreciate where I am now while I’m on my way there?
The way I see it, becoming too single-mindedly invested in a routine is a bit like going for a walk while staring down at your feet: yes, you’ll be sure that you’re successfully taking one step after another, but you’ll also be missing out on a lot — and you might even end up doing some damage — along the way.