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Going Out of Your Comfort Zone

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I made my usual breakfast today, sat in my usual chair, read the usual newspaper, etc. I felt so comfortable and relaxed, sipping at my coffee and starting the day. But what if I made a different breakfast, sat in a different chair, listened to music rather than read the newspaper?
At a recent meeting I attended, I notice that most people choose to sit in the same places. I call these our comfort zones.
Should we challenge ourselves to get out of our comfort zones or do they help us to be more productive?
What do you think?

15 replies

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An interesting thought, @Judith. I wonder if the answer is, "It depends."

Many mornings, I follow a routine of preparing to work. I work (and study online courses) at home, in my usual spot at the end of my dining room table. I think following the routine gets my brain ready to start. I have created a habit.

But what if one day, I don't feel like working? I may feel out of sorts or tired. Maybe switching things around, going for a walk, doing something different, or moving my laptop to a different location might just get me out of a rut and refreshed again.
Thanks for your response, @Pat B . It’s good to converse with you again.
”It depends” was the reason I posed this discussion. But it’s probably the best answer.

I think better when I am sitting in my usual place. It feels most relaxing. But that’s not a very exciting response or thought. It’s supposed to be good for you to change things up but I can’t think of a time when it has helped me yet.

As a teacher, if I ever felt a class was spending more time socializing than functioning I would change everyone ‘s seat and even change the room arrangements. It always shocked the group into functioning most efficiently. It works well to change things sometimes.
I’m just not sure I can think of how this can positively work for me...which is sort of funny to think about. I have become an old woman set in her ways and routine! Uh oh!! I’m in trouble....I will put on music and dance around the house now, LOL!
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@Judith Put on music and dance around the house! What a great way to click the brain into gear. I bet it would help.

It sounds like you are feeling a bit like you're stuck in the same old routine. Rather than trying to think of a time when changing things up has helped you, what about just giving it a go and see what happens?
@Pat B , not at all! I don’t feel “stuck”, I enjoy it! I was questioning enjoying it, wondering if I should go outside my “comfort zone”. Routines are easy, predictable, comfortable, perhaps making me too complacent?

But I like your suggestion of giving it a “go” and being spontaneous. Tomorrow I won’t have an egg white for breakfast, but will try making avocado toast! Changing things require thinking which is good too.Maybe I won’t hike on my usual trail but will research another nearby.....I think I will still dance though, LOL!
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Let's both dance! 😄 Who wants to join us?
I was hoping you would join me! We need more people! Please join us!
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Haha, what a wonderful topic and the replies 🌸.

Hello @Judith!,

Nice title, I observe a soft spring color in your name 🌳.
I am glad to know that you are very happy and enthusiastic, so cheerful with the music and dance spirit, I also want to join in this joy that awakens a smile for those beautiful words.

Good analogy about sitting in the usual place, gives a sense of calm and can say that in me sometimes it has caused some passivity.

Certainly it's curious because I had not seen it that way, maybe the fact that I have to mobilize for commitments and get out to other places, I feel that when I sit and be in front of the PC, I start to review the notes, platforms, emails, read, listen music. I relax and have not taken it as the main focus for availability.

Is that my pc located on a desk is my comfort zone? Should I put mini cactus, or colorful ornaments, change my chair for one in the dining room, put reminder stickers? Or just tell to myself, you can achieve everything you set your mind.

Its nice and enlightening to think about these issues, they help you know in what you spend more time and if you can use it even better, although that is relative, it depends what you want because for me you can't compare two hours playing chess/videogames/karaokes/instruments with friends, that two hours learning to program for your project ideas.

The loud music and dancing is an extra expressive complement. Very good by the way 😄.

Motivation and Happiness go hand in hand, like you two.

Greetings from a distance and for you too @Pat B.

Inviting the community to join us and tell us what you would consider at this time your comfort zone, what can you could do to stop being so, will you take advantage of this time in the awesome way to achieve your goals?.

@Luis Gerardo Ayala B. , such a wonderful post filled with many thoughtful insights. It is always such a pleasure to hear from you.

I wonder if you moved where you keep your computer , or used a different chair, would it make you more productive?

There have also been interesting studies about productivity and sounds in your environment. For example, if you had a refrigerator motor making sounds next to an air purifier making another sound, and the sounds clashed, would it be disturbing to you?
In this study, they found that if people worked in an environment where the many machine sounds clashed they were less productive. When they either took these things away or changed the machines so they were in harmony, people were happier and more productive.
Sometimes sounds can represent our comfort zone too. Smells too.

It’s good to think about ways we can use our time and be the most productive. Becoming aware of our environment will help us become happier and more productive.
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Interesting topic and shares. I have noticed this "being out of my comfort zone" over many years. While travelling, initially I couldn't sleep due to changed place, didn't feel my morning has started positively due to the different taste of a cup of tea and by the time I got used to, it was time again to go back to old habits (my home 😆).
So I see now, the first day of changed routine is a bit unsettling but adaptation to it has become quicker than I can imagine.
Of course, little change in place or routine now doesn't bother me. While writing this, I am sipping my tea sitting at the edge of my favourite routine place and tempted to sit more relaxed in a routine way. However more and several changes just put me off balance, initially I apparently enjoy but long to go back to my old routines as if they are telling me "you can not abandon us" and you know, more often I oblige. 😁
But yes, I develop boredom with set routine every now and then, so if I recall, in last one year, I have already changed my places more than 4 times and developed a sense of comfort in all of them without realising that I was ever in discomfort initially. In a nutshell, how fast we adapt to any change decides how long we feel discomfort, with age I think we are more adaptable or should I say adjusting 🤔
@Namrata Tejwani , such excellent insights! I wonder if this is partially why travel is so exciting, because everything is different and all your routines are gone?
Being able to adapt to change is so important since we are constantly in situations that will call for it. I was intrigued by your thinking that we become more adaptable with age....
At first I wondered if this wasn’t true because older people are often known for their “set in their ways” thinking. But upon reflection, I have become more adaptable as a result of my life experiences. Things that might have unsettled me when I was younger, no longer seem to.
Our comforts matter though, so even if I could adapt to living a tent, for example, I would prefer the indoors.
I made my usual breakfast today, sat in my usual chair, read the usual newspaper, etc. I felt so comfortable and relaxed, sipping at my coffee and starting the day. But what if I made a different breakfast, sat in a different chair, listened to music rather than read the newspaper?
At a recent meeting I attended, I notice that most people choose to sit in the same places. I call these our comfort zones.
Should we challenge ourselves to get out of our comfort zones or do they help us to be more productive?
What do you think?

Comfort zone is good. I don’t think we should challenge ourselves to undo our routine and comfort zone. Yet we should be flexible enough to except the situation when it’s not possible to to be in our comfort zone
certainly we have to condition ourselves to be as creative as we should by giving some ideas out of the box of the ideological routines and traditions; which could be a toxical behaviour in front of personnel progress and development.
But, are we more creative in a comfortable environment or in a new one?😀
An interesting thought ! even if routines & habits are almost similar and create a comfort zone, I believe that we can be productive in comfort zone, discipline and prioritize our agenda are the master key to become more productive but we also need reward.
Habit works by generating an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought and a routine is a series of behaviors we practice regularly. I believe comfort zone is not always a place but mostly situation (this my personal point of view). What is a comfort zone ? it is mostly when you feel safe and in control without stress.
Some of my students are in their comfort zone by staying passive, mean not interact or participate to the debate due of lack of self-confidence or can be affected by others' opinions.
And about home, isn't it the best place where mostly we feel relax and comfortable ? so can be the worst place to discipline and improve ourselves. Personally, last year tried to learn about wine knowledge Diploma 3 from W.S.E.T. (wine and spirit knowledge), it was a pretty challenge and could not success at all (comfort zone, children, routines, habits etc). After 3 months unsuccessful learning, I decided to move to France (I am living In Bali) for 1 full month and stayed in uncomfortable zone, small accommodation, tiny bed, have to do my own food, far away from my wife and children etc.
Not even after 1 week, I got new routines such as went to the bakery buying some croissants, have a break and eating french bread with"saucisson", drink coffee and talking with the neighbor etc. So even staying out from my comfort zone, I create some new routines to feel comfortable......Our brain cannot stay constantly in uncomfortable situation.
Should we challenge ourselves to get out of our comfort zones or do they help us to be more productive?
What do you think?
Being more productive can be everywhere at any time, question of state of mind. If I want to get more discipline or asking effort to myself such as learning or any task, I have to motivated myself to love what I will have to do, to persuade myself it will be for my future well-being, to schedule and program the duties, be disciplined, be sure that I will not be disturb (decided to wake up at 5.00 am) or when my house is empty (no wife, no children), to limited the time (Parkinson law) and using Pomodoro, it helps me a lot and most important reward to myself. I like to say to my children, there is a time for all things.
Maybe this picture might help you

Personally I use a technique to get out of the comfort zone. Right now I work from home, at the moment I am in a training period, studying programming and at the same time I work as a microcomputer technician.In order not to get tired of always being in the same room in my house, which I use as an office, what I do is move to other places in the house to study.Sometimes it is a bit tiring to have to move all monitors, cables and cpus from one place to another, without talking about a table, chair, etc., but in the end you realize that when you "move" from one place to another in the house You seem to be in a new office and the illusion to continue training increases greatly (the views change).Then after a few months, when I see that my mood is low, programming requires a lot of patience, because I take and move back to another part of the house.I also change my setup from time to time. Something new always motivates you more. I bought a third new monitor and put it upright, so I got something new, seeing hundreds of lines of code in another way.Well nothing, there goes my little contribution, I hope they help you as much as I do.Receive a cordial health.ToNi