Say NO to Comfort

Posted on August 01, 2009

I recently facilitated a Toastmasters meeting with the theme of Comfort Zones. One of the points I emphasized was to try doing something new as often as possible. This may sound like a cliché but being exposed to diverse environments trains your brain to solve problems using more creative approaches. This also helps add new skill sets to your toolbox.

The easiest way to get started is to try doing something you would typically do on your computer using other tools such as pen and paper, markers, etc. The point of this exercise is to help you think outside the box without limiting yourself the same solution for the every problem.

For example, last week I went to a screen-printing workshop. Screen-printing is an art I’ve always wanted to learn more about but never had the time. I had a great time learning about the different types of frames, screens, paints, emulsions, and processes. I also took a stab at printing on fabric and paper. Although the prints didn’t turn out great, I got to experiment a little and learned some good techniques I can practice later at home. Also, the limitations of this method (as opposed to electronic ones) made me think of different ways a design can be implemented.

The more you do this type of exercises, the more comfortable you will become at tackling those problems involving areas or tools you may not be familiar with.

The problem for most of us is that we like the comfort of utilizing the same tool for everything. Challenge yourself and think of it as a game. Set the goal to do at least one thing that is different every week. However, be careful not to make this a chore and make sure you have fun.