DO YOU SOMETIMES feel tired? Listless?
It might be boredom. Some tasks are just plain boring, and when
your mind is bored, it starts shutting down or drifting off and
going to sleep. To stay awake, you must engage your mind. Here
are a couple of ideas to help you:
This makes your mind pay closer attention in order to avoid mistakes.
This demand for increased attention wakes you up, focuses your
mind and makes the task more challenging. You can speed up without
feeling unpleasantly stressed: Make it like a game. How much
can you get done in the next half hour? Set a target and see
if you can reach it. This makes a tedious task less boring and,
as a bonus, frees up more time for things you like to do.
Listen to something. Everyone knows its more fun to do physical
work while listening to good music than it is working in silence.
Music engages your mind to some degree. But there is something
that engages your mind more completely: talking. There has been
a virtual explosion in the publishing industry of books and seminars
on audiotape. Many people who commute to work have converted
that boring and otherwise unproductive time into a mind-engaging
education. The amount of material available on tape is staggering.
In the next few years, using only the time you spend driving
and doing household chores, you can learn a foreign language,
listen to countless great books read to you by the best readers
in America, and transform boring routines into an opportunity
to expand your mind.
Theres another kind of value to tapes.
Often it doesnt matter what you have learned. Even if you
could recite it, some practical knowledge matters only if you
have it in mind. Ideas about human relations are like that. I
have pretty much memorized the principles in Dale Carnegies
book How to Win Friends and Influence People, but when I am face-to-face
with a real human being, I often forget it all. It isnt
fresh in my mind its stored away somewhere. For
this kind of knowledge, its better to listen to a little
every day. Then the ideas will be in the front of your mind when
you need them.
USE THESE TWO ideas to make boring tasks
more interesting to your mind. Move faster, listen to something,
or both. A mind is truly a terrible thing to waste. Brains are
made to be constantly interested. Brains arent like muscles;
muscles get tired when they are used too much. Brains get tired
when they arent used enough. Brains not only get tired,
but over time, they can become smaller and more feeble.
Research is now showing that it is a myth
that people lose their mental ability with age. What they have
found is that people who dont continue to use their mental
abilities people who dont continue to learn and
grow lose their mental ability with age. Learning and
growing is for everyone, young and old alike. Even during a boring
task, you can find a way to engage your mind.
During a dull task, move faster
or listen to something.