#303: Why You Should Question Your Routines

Most independent professionals have some sort of daily or weekly workflow structure they follow.

That workflow is comprised of a number of routines—some of which they’ve followed for years.

Generally speaking, that’s not a bad thing. Habit and routine are important. They conserve cognitive energy that we can use for our most important decisions and core work.

However, it’s very easy to get stuck in routines that no longer serve us. What worked seven years ago may not work now because our business, obligations and personal lives have evolved.

In today’s podcast episode, I explain why we often stay stuck in our routines and what we lose when we don’t question them.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or wherever you listen to podcasts.


The 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mindset

My first job out of college had actual working hours: from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It was a long week. The work ethic it took to keep those hours was praised and reinforced in the company culture.

This reinforcement was so effective that,  several years and three jobs later, I still followed those hours. Worse yet, once I quit my day job and went completely on my own … I still had that “rule” in my head: to work from 7:00 to 6:00 every day.

I’ve worked hard to shift that mindset since then. But every once in a while, I find myself drifting back to that old way of thinking.

This is very common. We’re creatures of habit. It takes quite a bit of introspection … and a commitment to regularly question our routines, strategies and methods … to try new and better ideas.

Test Different Ideas Regularly

A few months ago, I was at the gym doing my usual workout. When I was ready to move to the next station, other people were using the machine I needed, and I could tell they were going to be a while.

At first, I was annoyed. I like doing my routine in a specific order. But I didn’t have time to wait for the machine I wanted, so I tried a different machine that worked the same muscle group.

And you know what? I liked the new machine better! Now, I routinely choose it over the old machine. And it all happened because I was forced to try something different.

Yes, I like to stick to what works well for me. But often, there are other methods, approaches, strategies and routines that could work even better for me, if I gave them a try.

So don’t get stuck in old patterns. Test different ideas on a regular basis. Give them a chance.

Not all of them will work better than what you’re doing now. But you won’t know until you try.



By the way… whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:

1. Grab a free copy of my book.

It’s called Earn More in Less Time: The Proven Mindset, Strategies and Actions to Prosper as a Freelance Writer. The title says it all. 😉 — Click Here

2. Join my implementation program and be a case study.

I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’re earning $5k+/month (or the part-time equivalent) from your freelance business … and you’d like to grow your income quickly with better clients … just email me at [email protected]

3. Work with me privately.

If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Just email me at [email protected] and put “Breakthrough” in the subject line, and I’ll get back to you with more details.