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The Secret to Breaking Complacency

What if you knew the secret to breaking complacency? Well, it’s really not a secret. However, there are many things you can do to assist in breaking free of complacency.

Complacency is a terrible thing. Often it starts as routine. It becomes a groove. However, many times that groove becomes a rut that we get stuck in. That “groove” hinders us from forging new paths, from trying new things, and from being our exceptional selves. Complacency comes on slowly, but eventually it transitions into a dull, mundane, and eventually overwhelming feeling of stuck.

We’ve all felt stuck before. Having rubber boots stuck in deep mud is best analogy I can think of for complacency.

Close your eyes and imagine that feeling for a moment. It’s too hard to pull the boot out while it’s still on your foot, however, you don’t want to slip your foot out of the boot for fear of getting your socks dirty.

You can contemplate your options but, in the end it’s easiest to just stay where you are. Sure there’s no progress, but there’s no risk of dirty socks! And that’s the problem. It’s often too easy to do nothing.

Complacency is the place where creativity dies, where companies begin to wither, and where enthusiastic people become ‘meh’.

When individuals or organizations are bogged down in a quagmire of processes and routines they can find themselves in a very depressing state. Often times we need something drastic to catapult us into some thing new and extraordinary. We need a catalyst to propel us out of complacency.

Here is the secret to breaking complacency:

Change your routine! – Small changes to a routine can make it interesting again. Small changes you can take include taking a different route to work, listening to something different in the morning, or even rearranging your work space. These small things can refresh and reinvigorate your efforts.

Focus on specifics tasks! – List specific task you want to accomplish (think ‘To-Do list’) and then focus just on those. When they are completed add them to an accomplishment catalog, a list of all the things you’ve accomplished). Often it can be difficult to remember all the things we achieved over a months, week, or even a single day. Cataloging all the things you’ve accomplished can help you remember all the progress you’ve made. Refer to this is times you feel “Stuck” and break the complacency cycle.

Gamify your efforts! – Adding an element of fun to tasks and responsibilities can make them more rewarding. Like Mary Poppins said, “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.” I’ve seen teams develop miniature competitions to help them stay engaged during mundane tasks. I’ve seen copy editors reward themselves with a single M&M after each paragraph they completed. Find a way to make your work more fun and watch how easy it is to break complacency.

For more tips on overcoming complacency check out this article on Battling Burnout: HERE

Or, if you’re a leader that wants to empower your team, we’d love to help! Contact us: Here

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