Bust Out of Routine


The first things I do every morning when I get to work is park my car and choose the shortest walking path to work. This time of the morning is used for reflection for the things I need to do for the day. Usually, I just get frustrated with all I have to do and am determined to create the “to-do list” at the point I enter the office.

By the time I make it to the office I turn the lights on, boot the computer, and take a deep breath. That’s my routine.


Earlier this semester I got to thinking about how boring a routine can become and how we as professionals trap ourselves by doing the same things over and over. In particular, I thought of the regular one-on-one meetings I have with students. We meet weekly in my office, and there are times that the office space is a more appropriate setting depending on the conversation. But sometimes even I need to get out of the office, so I proposed alternate meeting spaces with students I meet with regularly.


There are too many fun and more interesting places to meet on our campus for me to continue ignoring for meeting locations. So, spring 2011 I started taking advantage of Starbucks, the game room, the big cushioned chairs in the student center, and walking campus. I have found that busing out of routine with regards to meeting location in some cases is a breath of fresh air for me and the students.


I use this time as an opportunity to remind students to see the beauty in the work they’re doing and services they’re providing the campus. These break-a-ways I’ve determined are better opportunities to connect with students and truly learn who students are as individuals. To think something so simple as meeting in a different location can help shape the tone of the meeting and conversation.


How have you broken out of routine in your daily work?


Joshua Wilson

@jjwil325

Student Affairs - the First Years

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