Menial Tasks Can Create Inspiration!

Real Estate Agent with John L Scott Market Center 700512026

Every day, twice a day I clean my barn stalls for my "girls", my mule, Della and my horse, Pearl. 


First thing in the morning, I head out and take care of business while they eat their grain. 

Because it's a simple task, done over and over again, repeatedly for at least 7 minutes per stall, it often gives my mind a chance to wander with a sense of stream-of-consciousness. It also spurns creativity, because I am open to ideas while completing something that is a habit and needs no extra laser focus.


It might be the same concept as Wax On Wax Off, that famous phrase uttered in the move The Karate Kid. 

My menial task has given me the chance to have some deep internal ponderings while moving through the barn. I have written blogposts in my head, had aha moments about how to attend to a listing of mine; it has given me clarity on how to solve a problem that's boggled my mind because of many other nagging thoughts pushing it out of focus.


By having a singular repetitive task, not only can it be relaxing, in its motion of repetition, but it can often clear your mind of everything and be a zen moment! 


I have had people tell me that they love to wash dishes, as it gives them a sense of peace, relaxation. Maybe it's the water running, I don't know, as this doesn't do it for me!! But then not everyone wants to clean stalls of poo every day, either! 


Whatever you find it to be, I hope that you welcome it, and allow your creative juices to open up by embracing your own menial task that can create inspiration! 


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Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such beautiful horses you have!  When I am doing menial tasks, my mind tends to wander as well.

Jan 21, 2018 01:06 PM #3
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good afternoon Gayle. I love this and get it too. I have rote tasks with my gang. Your girls are beautiful.

Jan 21, 2018 02:21 PM #4
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I have two grandsons who are into martial arts.  Both are very fond of the "wax on - wax off" scene in Karate Kid.  There is a wisdom there.

Jan 21, 2018 04:09 PM #5
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Gayle- you are so right with this one. I have some of my best thoughts (yes for blog topics too) while walking along the beach, doing dishes, doing the laundry, even showering!!!

Jan 21, 2018 06:01 PM #6
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I used to enjoy ironing clothes and felt satisfaction in seeing the finished product. I see that you have so many opportunities for deep thought and inspiration.

Jan 21, 2018 06:06 PM #7
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Gayle, what you describe as you clean the stalls is how I feel in meditation. It is Zen. Peaceful. Blissful.  And with your chore, you know you have done something for your pets ... which I imagine feels good too. 

Jan 21, 2018 06:52 PM #8
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Gayle, There definitely is truth to this.  Growing up on a dairy farm, I had plenty of time to let my mind attend to other things, as I went about my daily chores.

Jan 21, 2018 07:24 PM #9
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Endre Barath, Jr. good for YOU for being one of those that I admire, because I loathe doing dishes! 

Carol Williams my husband does that on his long ride to work, as well. I now listen to NPR podcasts, mostly from TedTalks, which I love! 

Thank you, Brian England and Sheila Anderson  for appreciating my "girls"--I love them so! 


Jan 21, 2018 07:29 PM #10
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate ,

Love this post! You are right sometimes menial tasks allow those creative juices to  flow!! Not sure mine is with cleaning stalls of poo but walking does it for me.

Jan 21, 2018 07:33 PM #11
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Myrl Jeffcoat such an iconic phrase!! I was never a Karate Kid fan, but it popped into my head as a natural example as I was formulating this post while in the barn!

Kathy Streib like you, most often those would come when I am hiking on Greasy Spoon Rd with my dogs. The weather has curtailed that a bit I have chosen another place to get ponderous.

Debbie Reynolds the quiet of our homestead offers so many opportunities to enter the realms of my consciousness with a sense of wonder!



Jan 21, 2018 07:41 PM #12
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Kathleen Daniels I almost put that in here. I have been meditating this year as part of my vision for mindfulness/sati (and that is also on my Visionboard). I choose the Wishful Fulfillment meditation CD by Wayne Dyer that one of my sellers turned me onto. 

Bob Crane yup, you totally GET this! Something really sweet and easy about this daily chore. I love it, frankly. 

Dorie Dillard walking/hiking does it so much for me, too. I'm always so pleased when you stop by and comment!


Jan 21, 2018 07:58 PM #13
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I feel that doing menial tasks that I do over and over again a perfect time to meditate Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate 

Jan 21, 2018 11:25 PM #14
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate - Your girls are beautiful! They look healthy and happy too! If it wasn't for your menial tasks that you have down pat, they wouldn't be there. Getting up out of bed, taking those warm covers off yourself, then stepping out into the cool dark morning surely warms the hearts of those lovely creatures who depend on you daily. 

This is such a great and powerful post. I enjoyed reading it very much. I say, discipline is the vitamin for our soul. 

Jan 22, 2018 01:56 AM #15
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

For me it was cutting the lawn on a riding mower. Mindless and yet this sort of feeling of accomplishment as the rows went down.

Jan 22, 2018 08:00 AM #16
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Running does it for me - no doubt that boost in serotonin, and the relaxed repetitive nature of it. Not that I've been doing much running this winter. Argh. Can't wait for spring weather. 

Vacuuming is also a good one for me, and cleaning the house in general. That I've been doing. ha. 

Jan 22, 2018 10:46 AM #17
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS, it creates a really nice rhythms doesn't it?

Jan 22, 2018 12:36 PM #18
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX

Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate I like to walk and relax but these days with the weather I have been at the gym, I can honestly say the poo thing is not for moi! 

Jan 22, 2018 06:04 PM #19
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I agree, when I had retail electronic stores I took great joy in rearranging and straightening the warehouse. It does create focus.

Jan 23, 2018 10:12 AM #20
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Here is what one of my dearest friends wrote in response to this post that I linked on my Facebook timeline:

Cheryl Frankie Barlow:

 While I am doing my morning dishes I am usually watching the fog roll through the trees on the other side of the lake, or the smoke rising from the chimneys of the cabins nestled in the hills. I also need to mention the occasional blessing of a bald eagle or egret flying circles over the dam attempting to find a bit of breakfast. However, the peacefulless of the morning here at the lake is probably what makes my dishwashing chore not too hard to take. Thank you Gayle C. Gayle C. Rich-Boxman, for making me realize my good fortune.

Jan 23, 2018 10:33 AM #21
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

How true this is, Trudy loves weeding, for me those moments often coming mowing the lawn but it is exactly as you describe. Wonderful post for those who think those tasks are below them. Now to hide this so Trudy doesn't have me cleaning dishes all week.

Jan 24, 2018 06:57 PM #22
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Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate

"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905
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