Have you ever heard the story about brushing your teeth with your other (non-dominant) hand to stimulate the creative side of your brain? Well, I can tell you that this works. I came up with this idea about (mixing it up) while actually (mixing it up) and brushing my teeth with my right hand.
Actually, I do this all the time because if you brush your teeth with the same hand every time you can miss some spots. You’ll find that your non-dominant hand will brush in different areas and patterns so you’re not only stimulating your brain, you’re also benefiting your teeth and gums.
Okay, I’m done talking about teeth and gums so you can keep reading.
I was recently listening to a podcast called the “Random Show” with Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose. Both are experts on doing things differently, whether that be exercise, investing, traveling, or a host of other random topics. Kevin Rose was talking about how wearing a weight vest and cranking a treadmill up to the maximum incline allows him to walk slowly while reading on his iPad. After 25 minutes, he steps off the treadmill completely drenched in sweat and finished with exercise for the day.
Both of them chimed in at different points in the hour-long podcast about the benefits of meditation, even while exercising. Both of these things sounded a bit strange. I tried to picture myself on a fully inclined treadmill, wearing a weight vest, trying to read a book on my iPad. Or even more dangerous, walking into a tree or into traffic because I was meditating while hiking.
These are two types of exercise I am going to try. These are two things that are completely different take on my current routine. I write a lot about establishing habits and making them part of a daily routine. But over time, routines and habits, especially those related to exercise or something that requires some motivation, can get stale.
Two things that have worked for me are walking after lunch and setting aside 20 minutes for weight training that includes some high intensity interval training later in the day during my dead zone. So, while I’ve set aside some time each day during the week that doesn’t mean I can’t completely switch things up within those 20 minutes or during that walk.
I started to do this with the high intensity interval training, I primarily do this during the week I start out with eight minutes of warm-up, light weight training. Four minutes of high intensity interval training on a heavy bag and then eight minutes of cool down, more weights. The workout is over in 20 minutes and I take weekends off. I never go over 20 minutes. The 20 minute limit and weekends off help keep me motivated. If I miss a workout during the week, I can use Saturday as a catch-up day.
So, to keep this workout from getting stale, I switch up the exercises each day of the week if I get tired of something, I take it off the list and switch up the routine. I have a list of five separate routines I know that I can get done in 20 minutes and I also mix up exercises within those routines.
I don’t limit randomness to just exercise. For example, I stream a lot of podcasts on my iPhone. It’s very easy to get into a routine of the same crappy morning show or chuckle head radio personality. I try lots of new podcasts then just cherry pick shows and guests that look interesting before a walk. 1000s are added weekly.
The other day I was driving, so I decided to just randomly click on a podcast. It turned out to be the James Altucher Show. James is an Investor, Entrepreneur and Writer. He was interviewing the rapper Coolio. The interview started off awkwardly as these are two very different cats. Coolio was in his car on his mobile phone so he was hard to hear. To be honest, I almost bailed on this one but I stuck it out for what turned out to be a fascinating interview.
Coolio, as I learned, has one of the best-selling rap records of all time globally, Gangsta’s Paradise. But, as it turns out, he’s reinvented himself several times including a hit cooking show. The interview was a bit crazy as during different parts of it. Coolio was wandering around with his mobile phone saying hi to friends, ordering sodas at drive-thrus, and hitting on a Hungarian woman. It was completely random and you had no idea where it was going, it was great.
Here are some ways to add some randomness to your daily weekly or annual habits and routines.
- If you walk each day, try listening to some podcasts on iTunes or Android. Pick a few random topics that interest you. Type in a topic then pick random episodes from the stream.
- Listen to a free music service like Pandora. Put in the name of an artist that you haven’t listened to in a very long time or maybe an artist you’ve never listened to. Pandora will match other songs based on your artist or individual song selection. My picks, Coolio, John Coltrane, Styx or B-52’s stream kicked out some very cool songs I’ve never heard before.
- Block out a short period of time each day for some exercise. But within that routine, really mix it up. I’ll let you know the meditating while walking goes.
- Mix within a mix, if you’re adding weight training to your mix, do different exercises daily. Create a list you’re comfortable with and then really mix them up.
- Explore a completely new business or hobby. I do this every six months or so. A lot of the ideas get dropped but, I always learn something. The really good ideas always bubble up again.
- Try traveling on a very lean budget, Completely avoid expensive tourist traps and restaurants find out where the locals go. This takes more time but is worth it.
- Go somewhere you’ve never been before, Or, if you’re returning to a destination you love, completely switch up your day trips. Don’t go back to the same old places.
- Jump on Airbnb.com and rent a houseboat or a treehouse. Bring your dog along.
- Next time you search something using Google, mouse over the I’m Feeling Lucky button, you’ll see some new secret random options pop-up. Give them a try.