It’s easy to get stuck when you are doing the same things each day.

Weekly meetings become routine. Colleagues become familiar. Expectations become rote.

One of my buddhist teachers calls this “building a cocoon.” It feels safe, but it’s actually suffocating. It stifles creativity and it keeps us fearful of change.

In a way, it reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where George decides to do everything the opposite of what he usually would do — and reaps crazy rewards and gains.

Sometimes, you have to break away from what feels normal and safe. You might not make huge gains every time, but this discipline will help you unleash new perspectives on your work and the world. Try some little things:

  • Say that thing that you want to say during the meeting in front of everyone. Don’t save it for a smaller, safer audience later.
  • Take a program staff person who you’ve had some issues with out to lunch and don’t talk about work. Find some other common ground.
  • Work outside.

Incorporate simple practices to shake up the status quo. It’ll do you — and your work — good.