by Paul Casey

How to Get Out of a Rut

Golf courses try to keep their grounds looking as pristine as possible. But golf CARTS can be an enemy to this goal because of how they wear out the grass. Many courses post a sign that says Scatter several yards past the tee where the paved cart path ends and the fairway begins. This sign is politely suggesting  that you steer your cart in a different direction than straight ahead, to prevent the grass from dying at the end of the path.

To stay out of ruts in your life or work, you can also take the Scatter admonition. Since a rut it simply a shallow grave, you have to find way to get out of the familiar grooves of behavior that may be working for you day-to-day, but that aren’t getting you any traction toward a more exciting future—where you get up in the morning enthusiastically for the challenge that lies ahead.

I know it’s a DUH, but if you want your life to look differently tomorrow than it did today, you have to choose to do something differently. You have to take actions that people in ruts aren’t doing!

Here are some Scatter Hacks:

At work:

  • Spend more time developing your internal network and your external network. Seek out conversations/relationships with others inside your organization that you don’t know well, as well as getting out of your building more often to mingle with other professionals in your industry or in the community.
  • Seek out and say YES to opportunities that will stretch your leadership skills, putting you in a temporary uncomfortable situation until you grow into the role and add value to that team or project.
  • Start something! Form a task force, gather a strategic team, begin a recognition or wellness program. Make something happen with your own initiative.

In life:

  • Get a coach or counselor. Therapists explore what’s behind any funks, and coaches explore your vision and how to be a better version of you.  Both will help you get unstuck and scattering.
  • Get moving. Those in ruts say, The shortest walk is back to the couch. Nope, not you! An object in motion tends to stay in motion. Is it a type of exercise? A new hobby?
  • Set a big goal for the quarter or the year. You need to rock yourself out of normalcy with a motivating pursuit. Chip the big goal into daily and weekly doable activities to get started.
  • Meet interesting people who aren’t in ruts. You start becoming like those with whom you associate. They’ll rub off on you, and you’ll start getting more active.

Make the commitment to step out of your ruts and pursue bigger goals to keep you growing forward!  Subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter of inspiration called Target Practice by going to my web site at and opting in. You’ll get my free Take Back My Calendar checklist for joining!


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