Do Instead of Think

I’m sitting in my sun room staring at a blank screen trying to drum up some profound words.  But I keep getting distracted.  I find my mind wandering.  Thinking just feels like hard work today.

I stare out the window watching my neighbor manicure her flower beds and I envy her.

Today I need to just do instead of think.

Ever have one of those days?

Don’t worry.  This isn’t a plea of desperation, near burn-out or extreme fatigue.  This is just one of those days where I’m a little too tired to think.  Doing something productive but simple (like pulling weeds) sounds immensely gratifying.

As leaders, our pace of life can be structured in such a way that we’re constantly doing activities that require deep thinking.  And while most of the time that is good and responsible stewardship, sometimes you also need to realize the times where you just need a simple activity to do.  Not to think.  To simply do.  Something that is mindless yet gives your mind space.

Some yard work.

A long run or walk.


The irony is that sometimes in the simple mindless doing is when I have my most profound thoughts.

Some of my best ideas come when I’m not trying to think at all.

Can you relate?


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  • JennyRain April 11, 2012  

    Yes! Getting into a space where I stop thinking and start acting – even on the mundane things of life – helps me solve some of the most difficult problems too. Love this Jenni!

  • Steve Wallen April 11, 2012  

    Yes, I totally get it.  Even right now, as I’m thinking about how to finish a message for Sunday, I just need to open the file and write instead of thinking about it.

  • Becky April 11, 2012  

    Absolutely.  If I can quiet my mind, clear the clutter of thinking, I have room to hear God’s voice.

  • Holly Cox April 11, 2012  

    I can completely relate…a long run is just what I need some days!!  Such an awesome time to not think opens time for God to really speak so clearly!!

  • Chris Peek April 11, 2012  

    Agreed. Some of my best ideas come when I’m out walking, jogging, or hiking a trail. We become much more effective when our minds are refreshed. When you try to cram too much stuff into one day, the law of diminishing returns kicks in.

  • MichaelDWarden April 11, 2012  

    My current mantra: Get out of your head and into your life.

    Great word, Jenni. Thanks!

  • Kim April 11, 2012  

    Totally! We have a storage room at our office that has become what storage rooms tend to become: a junk room. Monday, I had to take a mind break so I went in there and spent one hour sorting and trashing. Mindless but so therapeutic. At the end of the hour, I felt mentally refreshed AND I had gotten a lot accomplished. After a day of exhausting meetings yesterday, I’ll probably hit the storage room again today for a little while.

  • Jonathan Pearson April 11, 2012  

    I absolutely can. Often… I had a fortune cookie a few days ago at a Chinese restaurant that said, “the best way to get to the top is to get off of your bottom.” Wise words.

  • Gomalley April 11, 2012  

    I’m with you on this one.
    Everyone laughs at me for starting my morning run before 5 a.m. It’s the time of day that I can get into the zone and think about nothing other than the pavement in front of me.