Routine, in many ways is a good thing. It keeps you organized, makes sure everything is completed on time, and is usually a source of comfort/sanity for people with busy schedules, but it has its draw backs as well. For one thing, it makes it very easy to pick up bad habits and get lazy, a few cut corners on a slow day will quickly become part of your routine and soon enough your work quality will plummet because of it. For creatives, especially in the digital medium it also becomes very easy to fall into a little "comfort shelter", and continue to do things the same way all the time, unaware of advances in technology or alternative methods which could save you tons of time or improve your work.
To further push my point, I'll refer you to Annie Murphy Paul's article at Time "Ideas", "Why Morning Routines are Creativity Killers", which can be translated closely to routines in general.
So, now for the challenge. I want you, the readers, to identify one area of your work you want to improve on (could be editing efficiency, tackling your inbox, updating your blog, etc.) then change up how you approach it for two weeks. If you're working on updating your blog this change may come from where you write (I suggest coffee shops or parks), or how you write as in drafting everything out on paper as I often find works for me to get ideas flowing. After those two weeks, I encourage you to write a comment and explain what you wanted to change, how you did it, and any improvements that you experienced. I'll then select a good mix of contributions from the challenge and share them in a future article to hopefully inspire and teach others.
As an example, excusing the subtle irony, my focus for this challenge will be improving how often I update my schedule instead of trying to commit things to memory, to change it up I'll be switching from my phone/computer calendar to a wall calendar and schedule book, and my experience will be included in the follow up article.
To clarify, this isn't a contest, just a challenge for improving your skill-set. Take some time to look at your work objectively and ask others for an outside perspective, I'll make my follow up post on Sept. 30th, so everyone has time to participate.
Cover photo by Adam Bartlett (http://www.flickr.com/photos/atbartlett/2432704579/)