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.
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…
- Reflect on something I’m learning.
- Craft an encouraging email to someone.
- Recall a memory. I write a few sentences about a positive experience.
- Set a goal for the day.
- Write one sentence that expresses how I want to show up.
- Stop writing with one simple point of gratitude.
Enable consistency by including variety in repetition.
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:
- Think of meetings as buckets of time. What MUST go in the bucket? How might you add a strawberry or banana?
- What low-impact daily activity could you stop doing today?
- Add an unexpected agenda item to one-on-ones.
- Notice the typical language you use to correct or encourage. Craft a new sentence. It might begin, “Your performance reminded me ….”
- 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?
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
Good morning Dan!
I think it is important to remember to inject a little fun in the workplace. We recently did a fun and creative activity – was it off task? yes – did it have anything to do with our organizational goals – heck no, that is the point. I asked each member in the office to nominate a journal title to a specific person using this link. https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/179D0F90-F1E1-4EA7-ABF3-7CFE931A83C6/?_encoding=UTF8&store_ref=SB_A04728963OXO3KVIQDTOZ&pd_rd_plhdr=t&aaxitk=edmXfHb7wSmkRt1HlMDN-A&hsa_cr_id=7809881780701&lp_asins=1720084319%2C1979636796%2C1979707413&lp_mat_key=journal&lp_query=night%20journal&lp_slot=auto-sparkle-hsa-tetris&ref_=sbx_be_s_sparkle_mcd_hl&pd_rd_w=WK9KZ&pf_rd_p=9c8c2cb0-5e2b-4d3c-ab9c-9390e77a1435&pd_rd_wg=dVr4y&pf_rd_r=WTVTR0DA7FP3P195Z7J2&pd_rd_r=9c0139dc-a30a-46c4-8455-271967aca592&productGridPageIndex=5
We found ways to think about each other in a creative way, while at the same time encouraging others to try journaling.
Have an amazing weekend!
Good morning Joe. I completely agree. A little playful mischief lifts the spirit. Getting off task feels like recess. 🙂
Repetition is important. But it can become a bit boring if you simply repeat your message verbatim over and over. The most dynamic leaders keep their message fresh by using new analogies, demonstrations, examples, sound bites, statistics, stories, training, and visuals that underscore their key ideas.
Apply the “7 x 7 rule.” Deliver your message at least 7 times through at least 7 different channels.
-Meetings (team, departmental, all-hands, etc.)
-Newsletters (print and electronic)
-Special occasions (banquets, rewards ceremonies)
-Contests Stickers & bumper stickers
-Tattoos (just kidding)
Dan, Happy Friday!
They say “Variety is the spice of life”, from that standpoint a few changes perhaps (7 x 7) in how we do things surely could help the morale and relieve the repetition. I really like Joe and Paul’s points today as well. Let’s have a little fun rewrite how we do things and see were we go with it!
Another reason for variety: what works for one person may not for another. Whether it is the wording you use or the method of delivery, you want to be sure your audience gets it. After all, insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So change things up.
I remember briefly watching a TV show that discussed an individual who only ate pizza every meal and every day. It was mind blowing that someone would not change at all plus the major health concerns related to eating pizza every day. Variety makes us more well-rounded. This made me also think of the statement with the definition of insanity. Which is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Someone can be consistent on doing the same thing repeatedly, but if it does not make that individual grow or accomplish something then that consistency has a negative impact. Consistency can be a positive characteristic because you know what you will get out of an individual, but consistency can also be negative. Variety can be inserted into an individual’s life or habits making them more consistent.