A business friend of mine recommended that I ‘go outside of your comfort zone’ on a regular basis. He said the result is more focus and attention. It really works. I drove to work a different way the other day and actually remembered the entire drive. I was not on autopilot. I moved my computer to a different space in the office and my perceptions and experience really did change. I suggested that we all sit at different places at the dinner table the other night and you’d thought I’d suggested we eat snake for dinner! It’s so comfortable staying in the same place. It’s reliable.
So I’ve been trying all sorts of things a little differently and noting the results:
- running a route the opposite direction – I saw things I’d past and not noticed hundreds of times.
- putting on one sock then one shoe instead of both socks then both shoes – what if I have to make a quick get-away and only one foot is adequately prepared? That’s not a thought I’d had before.
- leaving my cell phone in the trunk of my car so I can’t hold it while driving (yes I know!) – I actually listened to an entire news report without placing a call!
- answering emails in reverse order (LIFO instead of FIFO) – I felt like I was being rude to the person who sent the email first when I answered another email which came in later.
- putting the creamer in my coffee cup after I pour the coffee instead of before – so now I have to stir.
- having a meeting that’s usually in my office in someone else’s – definitely resulted in more focus and active listening.
I really enjoying getting out of my comfort zone so much that I’m starting to feel like being out of my comfort zone is now my comfort zone ?!!? Tonight I’m going with dessert before dinner.