Variety Makes Consistency Possible

I hate the monotony of doing the same thing.

Strawberries are tasty. But strawberries every meal are intolerable.

When strawberries look green, we buy pineapple. When pineapples aren’t ripe, we buy blueberries. Bananas and apples are good options when grapes are sour.

Varity makes eating enjoyable.

Creativity

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. Maya Angelou

Variety overcomes boredom:

Every morning I take a few minutes to do the same thing, write in my journal. But I’ve learned to be consistent by adding variety to repetition.

Do the same thing, but do it in different ways.

I always begin my journal with gratitude. But I satisfy my need for variety by creating options after I record a point of gratitude. I might…

  1. Reflect on something I’m learning.
  2. Craft an encouraging email to someone.
  3. Recall a memory. I write a few sentences about a positive experience.
  4. Set a goal for the day.
  5. Vent.
  6. Write one sentence that expresses how I want to show up.
  7. Stop writing with one simple point of gratitude.

Enable consistency by including variety in repetition.

Creativity:

Find a way to consistently do boring things.

Make commitments that allow for creativity.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou

Examples of repetition with variety:

  1. Think of meetings as buckets of time. What MUST go in the bucket? How might you add a strawberry or banana?
  2. What low-impact daily activity could you stop doing today?
  3. Add an unexpected agenda item to one-on-ones.
  4. Notice the typical language you use to correct or encourage. Craft a new sentence. It might begin, “Your performance reminded me ….”
  5. Adopt a new way to challenge your team. Perhaps you’ve fallen into a pattern that diminishes the impact of your communication.

How might leaders do the same thing in different ways?

Added resources:

Playful Mischief and Lighthearted Fun is Seriously Worthwhile | Leadership Freak

Does Variety Fuel Happiness at Work and in Life? It Depends – Knowledge@Wharton (upenn.edu)

Why Managers Design Jobs to Be More Boring Than They Need to Be (hbr.org)

Crop Profiles (ucanr.edu) – California Strawberries