Staying in a rut is like being insane. Albert Einstein must have experienced this reality to pen his now famous definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. But there certainly are easy lifestyle changes that can liberate us from our bondage to a futile way of life.
First things first – do an honest assessment. There are major reasons for things being the way they are. Whether highly evident or buried deep in layers of truth suppression, this step of pinpointing the problem is the first priority in dealing with our ruts. After identifying the circumstances of our rut, the willingness to implement some easy lifestyle changes will help to pull up any rut-runner from the deep grooves he finds hard to extricate himself from. Let’s take a look at three reasons why people live life in a rut and what to do about them.
Stop unhealthy use of time – TV and social media addiction
Included among the biggest time-wasting activities are TV binge-watching and scrolling through endless Facebook posts and Instagram pics. To limit your time on TV, take a step that most people have found to be effective – unsubscribe from Netflix, Hulu, and other TV and movie subscriptions.
But that leaves you with your laptop and mobile phone, doesn’t it? The top reasons for going to Facebook, etc. is to shop, to stay informed of the latest trends or news, and to connect with friends.
Here are easy lifestyle changes that can drastically reduce your time on social media:
Turn off your notifications. It’s going to be tough at first, as overcoming any kind of addiction always is, but you’ll have to be firm and eventually, you’ll get used to not being the first to know and you beat your fear of missing out.
Remove social media apps from your phone and use their mobile sites instead. Opening your accounts on the browser limits personalization and user experience; hence, it’s easier to get off the site because the engagement is not as intimate.
Deal with your needs directly. Get the news from Google News, shop at Amazon or whatever your favorite shopping site is, and use messaging apps to connect with friends. By using these sites, you resist scrolling through social media and wasting time.
Conquer your laziness
Laziness leads to failure in achieving your goals and can cause you to lose your motivation to do any kind of work. To avoid facing sure disappointment, set SMART goals – simple, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound. Failing to achieve your goals almost always results in a loss of motivation.
Goals are easier to achieve if you create milestones and treat each one accomplished as a small success leading to the big one.
Another useful way to overcome laziness is to write down things that need to be done. Having a to-do list declutters one’s mind and frees it to just focus on doing, instead of perpetually thinking. Constant thinking results in insane paralysis, that leaves numerous things undone. On the other hand, demolished lists give a ‘mission accomplished’ sense of achievement that is so revitalizing.
Do something different
Routine equals rut. If you’re stuck in the same old pattern, break away from it and try something new. It could be a totally different thing or a related matter. Tired of freelance writing? Start a blog. Tied to home and work? Enroll in an art class or a gym. Too focused on your business? Start a conversation with the people around you and learn about their lives. The change will energize and excite you, and you’ll have a change in perspective. You’ll also have renewed enthusiasm for improving yourself and this helps you climb out of the hole you’ve dug yourself into.
First published in 2019; updated November 2021