Ever since I was a kid and started taking daily showers, I shampooed my hair each time. That’s just what “you” did: Lather, Rinse, Repeat as it said on the bottle. It was as much a part of my morning routine as brushing my teeth; a habit I executed without thought or question.
Then my hairstylist suggested that “intermittent washing” may prolong the life of my coloring and suddenly, whether or not to shampoo became a conscious decision. I skipped a day here and there and found that I had better results. Who knew?
I think the principle applies to other aspects of life. Instead of having tasks or habits on autopilot, it is beneficial to occasionally stop and consider whether your current routine is for the best. Does that report really need to be produced weekly (is anyone looking at it?) or could quarterly suffice? Are you still changing your car oil according to the old guidelines or have you extended the interval based on new technology? Did you consider whether holiday cards are still relevant and worth sending in the era of social media where everyone now knows your day-by-day updates and may not need the annual recap?
It’s easy to “lather, rinse and repeat” without effort, but if you apply some intentionality to your routines you may find you have the capacity and resources to apply to something that really makes a difference.