I want to teach you how to keep your mind sharp and focused even when you’re doing menial tasks.
What are Menial Tasks?
Menial tasks require very little mental energy but a lot of physical strength. Mental energy is squandered during menial jobs, while our bodies work vigorously. The combination can lead to physical fatigue and mental boredom.
Menial tasks are picking up boxes or flipping burgers NOT doing intricate welding or trying to fix a car’s delicate engine.
We’re reason based creatures. Although we can and should be physical, man’s primary power comes from his mind, not from his body. Therefore, menial tasks that train the body, such as moving boxes, will quickly leave the spirit lonely and withdrawn.
When we fail to engage our minds, we lose in the long run and can quickly suffer from boredom.
The Solution: Mental Exercises
The solution to mental boredom during physical tasks it to daydream.
Firstly, recognize that your mind isn’t being used. Start daydreaming or thinking of new ideas. Let your mind wander then find a thought and passionately focus on that; e.g., what you’re going to eat, who you find attractive, your next novel idea, whatever. Focus everything that you have on that.
From there, start formatting new ideas and create new scenarios; e.g., what would it be like to make this meal? To date this person? To actually write that novel.
By engaging your brain, you distract yourself from the physical nature of the menial task. Additionally, your mind stays involved, and you won’t suffer from apathy.
Let your brain be a child. Once one thought bores you, move on to the next one. Don’t settle anywhere. Be sure to run and play mentally.
You may stare off into the distance now and then but that’s a lot better than suffering through the tedium of menial labor.
By eagerly and freely letting our thoughts wander, we can easily prevent mental boredom and physical fatigue while doing menial labor. Our dreams keep us distracted from the work involved while thinking prevents any cerebral atrophy.
This technique is harder to master while doing work that engages the mind directly but for the time being, we can utilize this technique during basic, menial labor.
- What menial tasks do you have to engage in? How often do you have to do them?
- During a meditation or prayer session, allow your mind to wander at the end. See where your thoughts go and allow yourself the luxury of pursuing those thoughts. Jot down where you go and what you think about.
- Lastly, practice mental wandering during your tasks and reflect on whether or not you had success.
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.