An idle mind is the devil’s workshop – how are you dealing with this?

Usha Ramakrishnan

M Phil., Life Skill Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author, Columnist & Humorist

5 min read

Though the Covid-19 situation may have proved this proverb to be quite right, there are ways by which you can effectively deal with being idle. Right from the onset of this pandemic, we have been more idle than we have ever been in our entire lives! An idle mind is very dangerous and destructive for society. Is an idle mind the devil’s workshop? Yes indeed it is!

We sometimes like to be a little lazy, especially after a hard day’s work or on a very cold day – which is totally okay. When laziness occurs frequently and takes over your life, it’s time to do something about it! Laziness has to be overcome if you want to live life to the fullest and achieve success in UR life. When you strive to work efficiently, you will increase UR productivity.

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Here’s an ‘IDEAL’ way to combat idleness. Whatever each of the alphabets stand for can help you overcome negativity and laziness. If you just go along with these, you will surely be able to utilize UR time more efficiently and productively!

  • I – Inspire and get inspired
  • D – Discipline
  • E – Energy on the move
  • A – A no-gadget time
  • L – Lateral thinking
I – Inspire & get inspired

During the initial days of the pandemic, I would feel bad for those who have no robust domestic system and their family around them for additional support. The pandemic has caused widespread despondency and sadness all around. Many people are lonely and isolated from their family members or close friends. This is the right time to reach out to people as much as you can! Connect with them and bring some cheer to their lives. Show them you care! Be like a light in darkness by spreading positivity.

Despite facing many challenges, all of the frontline workers, grocery and home delivery staff have been doing their duty without fail – this is really inspiring! The commitment of these selfless and considerate people is extremely encouraging and inspiring. Their dedication adds value to society and inspires and encourages us to do better!

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D – Discipline

Unlike my mother and grandmother, I never did any extra work at home and during my free time, I decided to create more time for physical activity. This mental and physical routine has provided me with the energy to live the rest of the day with discipline. The idea is to take out time everyday for some sort of physical activity.

Plan ahead for the kind of physical activity that will keep you engaged and occupied. If you intend to do housework – choose a chore you like doing. It’s one of the best ways to combat boredom and monotony. Not to mention a spic and span home!

E – Energy on the Move

I am reminded of a recurrent incident from my student days. Sitting late at night in a reading posture, I would soon fall asleep. But while watching a late-night movie, I never blinked even once! This is because of synchronous absorption of body and mind. To be on the move, you have to be in the present. We’ve often heard advice like ‘live in the moment’ or ‘make the best of now’ – don’t think too much about the future or the past.

We live hectic lives and due to this some kind of anxiety and gloom that we experience is considered normal. Though we may not be aware of it, we are often pulled into the past or future. This can make us feel unhappy and lose touch with ourselves. Remember, all we have is now – don’t let it slip away! Make the most of the present and be ‘present’ in UR own life.

A – No Gadget Time

For many, being immersed in the world of gadgets is very common and a part of life. We all need to work on computers and are dependent on technology even though we may get a bit bored of it at times. To combat the dullness of this aspect of life, I have decided that the first and last 30 minutes of a day will be devoid of entertainment. Similarly, for three to four hours in a day, I refrain from engaging with gadgets – I follow a set ‘no gadget’ time.

Your phone and other devices don’t allow you to spend uninterrupted time with yourself. When you decide to set aside some time in the day minus your digital gadgets, you will be able to enjoy some time quality time with yourself with zero interference. When you go device-free for some time daily, it will help you to be more mindful and conscious of the other activities in life.

L – Lateral Thinking

Lateral thinking refers to a mind-set that is conditioned to arrive at solutions. Look for unique solutions to solve them. With a lateral thinking mind-set, U will be able to complete projects successfully which would otherwise be heading towards imminent failure. The indirect creative thought process of lateral thinking can enhance many aspects of UR life. When you use lateral thinking which involves creativity to solve problems, you will be better equipped to come up with one of its kind, valuable solutions.

When you implement lateral thinking, many alternative and out-of-the-box ideas come to mind. Even though at times an idea may not be very applicable for a current problem, it may turn out to be effective for other situations or problems. The best part about lateral thinking is – a change in perspective. You may look at a situation differently and this may probably lead to other interesting and varied solutions.