How routine can kill and how breaking routine can brighten our lives

Today I had the chance to visit the office of BRS for the very first time. It was surprising to me that it was nearly 3pm but not everyone was back in the office after the lunch break. I asked Kym:” How long is the lunch break here?” and he answered me with a big laughter: “People can go for however long they want”.

Interestingly, in this company, performance is measured only by the outcomes, not by how long you spend in the office or whether you go to work 5 days a week from 9 to 5.

Who won’t love such a flexible schedule? And when everyone loves it, everyone is happy about what they do. No strings attached. Wow….!

This simple thing just wakes me up and makes me think about the downside of routine. Sometimes having a routine helps things work smoothly and organized in professional places. Sometimes routine really kills.


Most of my friends say that once they dive into the workforce, they want to come back to uni badly. Why? Isn’t it very daunting to wake up early in the morning and think:”Oh no, go to work again!”? If you can even imagine how your day will be like, tell exactly what you will be doing at what time, it is no doubt that routine is the reason why you get bored. And then you want to come back to uni, because you don’t have to get up early everyday, you can skip classes if you want ( well, I skip lectures all the time, but don’t forget to listen the recordings 😉 =)

When you get bored, you don’t do your best at work, which is not good for your company. But more importantly, it is not good for yourself, because you are not enjoying what you do, and you are not living the way you want.

Not having a set routine from 9 to 5 have so many benefits in my opinion. It’s a win-win situation for both employees and employers. For employees, they don’t need to stick to the same timetable everyday. They don’t face the stress of having to be present at the office on time and counting the clock to go home. They don’t need to rush their lunch to come back to the office on time either. As long as they can finish their work, it doesn’t matter how or how long or when they do it, right? For employers, they have happy employees who sink their teeth into their jobs in a happy mood, and hence produce happy results.


Not only in professional environment, breaking tedious routines can enhance our happiness level in general. I love visiting different places, trying various restaurants, cooking new dishes. New things arouse our enthusiasm and positive emotions, making our lives happier I believe. Everyday is a new day to live because we don’t know what is awaiting.

Why do routines still exist? I believe routines are beneficial only when “they have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal” (John Collony)

Whether you are a manager, a leader or just an ordinary person leading your own life, it is critical to understand both sides of routines and to do things that you are passionate about, not things that you do just because it is a routine, having no purpose at all.


Are you getting bored? It’s time to do a new thing at a new time I guess 🙂

Some quotes about routines that I find useful:

“Routine and predictable days are the breeding grounds for complacency.”
Wayde Goodall, Why Great Men Fall: 15 Winning Strategies to Rise Above It All

“Routine is the one thing the can get you killed. It tells the enemy where you’re going and when you’re going to be there.”
Anthony Horowitz, Point Blank

“The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine.”
Vilayat Inayat Khan



  1. Cohu90 · July 13, 2013

    Nice entry. It made me think of my life. 🙂

    • Michelle Tran · July 13, 2013

      Thanks a lot 🙂 I think we all have some routines, but as long as we enjoy them it is okay. It is even better if we can gain new experiences and learn new skills too, life is full of surprises isn’t it? 😀

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